Thanks for your interest in applying for a Humanities Nebraska (HN) grant. We’ve provided information that we hope you will find helpful.

Applicants are urged to read the following Grant Application Guidelines, preview the Grant Application Questions and consult with HN staff on their ideas before developing a grant application.

  • Barbara Grant, Office and Grants Coordinator, email or (402) 474-2131.
  • Erika Hamilton, Director of Literary Programs, email or (402) 474-2131 ext. 104 
  • Kristi Hayek Carley, Program Manager, email or (402) 474.2131 ext. 108 
  • Mary Yager, Associate Director, email or (402)474.2131  at ext. 103

Humanities Nebraska-funded projects must have:

  • A central focus in the humanities
  • A clearly defined theme
  • Professional humanists involved in planning/executing the project
  • No political advocacy
  • A public program
  • Publicity and evaluation plans as appropriate
  • 1:1 cost share

Applications must be submitted online.

HN discourages multiple grant applications for a single project or set of programs.  Applicants should address all aspects of a project in a single grant application.  An exception – applicants may submit a mini grant application for assistance in planning a larger project, which may then be submitted for a major grant.

Programs supported by HN grants should be open to the public and free of charge or at a nominal fee.  If an admission fee is charged it must be used to cover project costs and anticipated revenue must be accounted for in the budget to show the costs it will cover.

The applicant must provide at least one half of the total project costs as cash match and/or in-kind services.

Repeat proposals are allowed.  However, applicants should be aware that annual programs or repeat projects of essentially the same format are expected to request fewer funds than for initial projects, seek funding from other sources, and show some innovation in the project.

HN may choose to not fund an application, fund a grant at a lesser amount, fund only certain aspects of a project, and/or fund a grant with certain stipulations.

Applicants should list in the HN Funds column the expenses for which they request HN funds through this grant. Other expenses for the project should be listed in the Cash Match and/or in-kind match columns. For major grants of more than $2000, at least 10% of the match must be cash. Cash match includes any expenses for which the applicant needs to pay. In-kind match includes such items as volunteer time, office and meeting space, free publicity and donation of equipment, facilities or refreshments for an event.

Project directors who plan and develop grant applications as part of their salaried positions should list their time as cash match. Project directors who are not preparing the grant as part of a salaried position should list their time as in-kind.

Ordinarily, HN can fund up to 20% of the total HN funds requested to support administrative expenses. Some exceptions may be made in areas of program emphasis. The bulk of funds requested from HN should be used to pay for humanities scholars and resources, travel and per diem when necessary,   publicity to develop an audience and costs to produce the program.

Use of HN funds for indirect costs (overhead) is not allowed. These expenses should be listed as in-kind match.

Grant applicants must identify all other assistance or resources from Humanities Nebraska (such as the Speakers Bureau) that will support or be part of their project, program or event (whether applied for by their organization or some other organization). These resources should be shown in the Cash Match column.

Any project that involves film, television or radio production or programming or digital projects such as websites, DVDs or CD-ROMs is considered to be a media project and should be applied for using the Media Application. (Under certain circumstances funding for pre-production aspects of media projects is available through the Mini Grant process.)

Digital products may be components of a larger project or a project in its own right. Projects relying heavily or solely on a digital format should have strong humanities content, be based on sound scholarship, and offer users an interactive and engaging experience. These projects could be humanities-based Internet presentations such as online exhibitions that might be interactive and could include open dialogue moderated by humanities scholars. Projects must be humanities based. HN will not fund organizational websites or promotional websites or CD/DVDs.

Media grant applications are sent to outside reviewers who have media expertise. Each reviewer will assess the technical merits of the project and the capability of the project team to deliver the proposed results. The applicant will receive a copy of each reviewer’s assessment and will be given the opportunity to submit a formal response to the technical review. The media grant application, technical reviewer’s comments and the applicant response will then be included for review during the following Major Grants round. The applicant will be notified regarding funding within three months of the media grant submission deadline.

Out-of-state applicants must submit a $150 processing fee to subsidize the cost of the technical review process. Pay this fee now:

Based on criteria that it has established, Humanities Nebraska (HN) will not fund creative or performing arts unless the project includes a significant humanities-based educational component.

To be considered a significant humanities-based educational project for HN funding the goal of an event or experience should be to help the audience understand and appreciate values, history and social context. The experience or event must be accompanied by some form of facilitated learning in order to give the audience something to think about in addition to something to enjoy.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has defined the humanities as including, but not limited to, history, literature, languages, jurisprudence, philosophy, comparative religion, archaeology, ethics, the social sciences when they employ humanistic perspectives, and the history, theory and criticism of the arts.

Creative and performing arts include but are not limited to creation or performance of music/songs, dance, theater, powwows, painting and drawing, and other visual arts.

Examples of eligible projects include but are not limited to the following:

  • A pre-performance talk by a scholar describing the culture and the times that influenced William Shakespeare
  • Facilitated discussion with accompanying performance that presents the historical and social context of opera and the role of opera in today’s culture
  • Presentation and discussion of the various musical traditions and instruments of ancient and contemporary cultures
  • Workshops that introduce students to the values, principles and history of African society and life through the study of traditional storytelling, dance, drumming and music
  • Lecture-recital program exploring the evolution of American roots music
  • Workshops for high school students that incorporate the history and cultural influence of photography with photography training
  • Talks given by Native American presenters recognized for their knowledge of the history and cultural impact of dance in Native American societies followed by dance and drum exhibition
  • Presentation of the history of a community that results in art that portrays that history
  • Living history portrayal of a historical figure ending in discussion with a scholar
  • A series of talks about the historical, social and critical context of paintings in a gallery exhibit
  • Writing workshops that address character development, motivation and voice

Examples of ineligible projects:

  • Performance-only programming
  • Art classes focusing on creative technique
  • Workshops addressing the mechanics and business of writing
  • Music or dance performances that do not include a formal presentation of the history and cultural meaning of the dance or music

If you have questions about eligibility please contact HN staff.

Creative and performing arts projects that are ineligible for HN funding may be eligible for Nebraska Arts Council funding)

Considerations for an application to HN

The application should demonstrate that a humanities scholar will be involved in planning to ensure that the humanities are well represented in the project. The application should thoroughly explain how the performing or creative arts component will complement and enhance the humanities aspect.

Budget guidelines

HN funds may be requested to pay humanities scholars and presenters and their travel (when necessary), publicity to develop an audience, and resources needed to facilitate learning. Some funding of performers may be requested as needed to illustrate the educational component. HN cannot fund competition or prizes.