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About Our Grants

The West Virginia Humanities Council offers a variety of matching grants to nonprofit organizations that provide public humanities programming for West Virginia audiences.


What are the Humanities?


The humanities represent a group of academic disciplines that have traditionally been concerned with values, ideas and choices.  The humanities provide a framework for analyzing the human condition – for making sense of our roles in contemporary society.  The term humanities includes the following:


Language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; those aspects of social sciences that have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to our diverse heritage, traditions and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current condition of national life.


Grant Categories, Applications and Deadlines


Before completing a grant application, applicants must review the general grant guidelines and How to Apply information.



Major Grants | Feb. 1 and Sept. 1

$20,000 maximum, support major humanities projects including, but not limited to, lectures, school projects, symposiums, panel discussions, reading and discussion series, exhibits, reenactments, and conferences. Applicants should allow twelve weeks between the deadline and the start of the project.


Major grants have funded humanities programming at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, a permanent exhibit at the Weston State Hospital, archeology digs in Wood and Greenbrier counties, the Ohio River Festival of Books, and wayside exhibits at historic locations along the Kanawha Valley Rivers to Ridges Trail. Apply Now  (or view printable application for reference)


Minigrants | Feb. 1, April 1, June 1, and Oct. 1

$2,000 maximum, support small projects, single events, lectures, small museum exhibits, brochures, consultation needs, and planning for more complex projects. Applicants should allow six weeks between the deadline and the start of the project.


Minigrants have supported projects including workshops by West Virginia authors at Daniels Elementary School in Raleigh County, permanent exhibits at the Entler Hotel museum in Shepherdstown, and a Wayne County quilt trail. Apply Now  (or view printable application for reference)


Fellowships | Feb. 1

$3,000, support research and writing projects in the humanities for teachers, college faculty, and independent scholars. Fellowships do not support work leading toward a degree or fund routine preparations for teaching. No cost share is required; allow twelve weeks between the deadline and the start of the project. Read more


The $3,000 grants are unique in the Mountain State. Apply Now (or view printable application for reference)


Media Grants | Sept. 1

$20,000 maximum, support the planning, scripting, and production of audio or video materials, websites or a newspaper series. Applicants should allow twelve weeks between the deadline and the start of the project. Read more.


Media grants have supported the award-winning interactive documentary Hollow, the Burning Springs documentary about West Virginia’s oil and gas industry, and the Traveling 219 website. Apply now, or view printable application.


Publication Grants | Sept. 1

$20,000 maximum, are available to recognized nonprofit and academic presses, and support only the production phase of a completed nonfiction manuscript. Applicants should allow twelve weeks between the deadline and the start of the project. Read more


A publication grant supported the book New Deal: Photographs of West Virginia 1934 – 1943. Apply now, or view printable application.


Teacher Institutes | Sept. 1

$20,000 maximum, are available to colleges, universities and the state Department of Education to develop summer seminars on humanities topics for secondary and elementary teachers. Applicants should allow twelve weeks between the deadline and the start of the project. Read more


Recently funded teacher institutes focused on writing and an exploration of music and cultures from around the world. Other teacher institutes have taken teachers to Japan, India, and England. Apply now, or view printable application.


Travel Assistance Grants | 60 days prior to the date of travel

$500 maximum, support travel to professional meetings and similar conferences for individuals associated with West Virginia museums, historical societies, institutions of higher and secondary education, and other nonprofit organizations. There is no cost share required. Read more


Travel Assistance grants supported travel to conferences and meetings of the Appalachian Studies Association, International Thespian Festival, and the Shakespeare Association. Apply now (or view printable application for reference)


Grant Process


  1. The grants administrator reviews the applications for completeness and compliance with the Council’s grant guidelines before distribution to the Program Committee.


  1. The Program Committee makes funding decisions for Minigrants. The Program Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for Major grants, Fellowships, Media grants, Publication grants, and Teacher Institute grants.  Travel Assistance Program grants are decided by Council staff.


  1. The Council contacts the authorizing official of the sponsoring organization regarding approval or refusal of a grant award. Allow at least two weeks from the date of application to receive notification regarding Travel Assistance grants, six weeks for Minigrants, and twelve weeks for all other grants.


  1. Grantees are responsible for submitting contract documents, progress and final reports to receive grant payments (minigrants do not require progress reports).


Please note:
Receiving a Humanities Council grant does not guarantee that the project will be funded again.  Each proposal is reviewed on its own merit within the grant cycle in which it is received.


The Program Committee is made up of Humanities Council board members and citizen members. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Program Committee as a citizen member click here to complete the nomination form.



For information contact Erin Riebe, Grants Administrator at 304-346-8500.

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Folklife grants

If you're looking for information about Folklife Apprenticeships or Legends & Lore roadside markers, visit the Folklife Program page.

Grant Guidelines

Read through the General Grant Guidelines before submitting your proposal.

2023 Grant Awards

View a comprehensive list of all 2023 West Virginia Humanities Council grant recipients.