Grants FAQs

What kinds of grants are available?

Public Humanities Grants, up to $10,000

To create exciting and engaging public programs that bring communities together to explore the humanities and meaningful issues, and connect to each other. To find out more about our Public Humanities Grants click HERE.

Preservation & Access Grants, up to $10,000

To preserve existing resources that are important to a community, and to make them publicly accessible to researchers, students, and the general public. To find out more about our Preservation & Access Grants click HERE.

What are the humanities?

The humanities help us explore more deeply what it means to be human and what matters to us. We explore our values and histories and philosophies. We challenge each other to pause, listen, and be curious about experiences that are not our own. The humanities help us explore our identities, and build community and connection. They help us remember who we are and where we are going together.

In the academy, the humanities fields of study include, history, philosophy, literary studies, languages and linguistics, film studies, archaeology, ethics, jurisprudence, art criticism and theory, cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, journalism, anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, performance studies, and more.

The humanities does not include humanitarian or social service projects.

The following are some questions we consider foundational to our work in the humanities in Hawaiʻi:

  • What do we value, what do we care about, and why do we do what we do—what does it mean to be human?
  • How do we become better listeners, more open to and curious about multiple viewpoints?
  • What does it mean to be grounded in Hawaiʻi’s peoples, stories, and places?
  • What is our kuleana to our communities’ histories and their futures?
  • How do we dive more courageously into important questions and ideas?
  • How can we create space for more diverse voices and experiences?
  • How can we connect in ways that strengthen our communities’ resilience and ability to change?
Where does HIHumanities Grants funding come from?

All Public Humanities and Preservation & Access Grants awarded by Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities are federal subawards from the National Endowment of the Humanities. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. We acknowledge and thank the NEH for supporting the important work of caring for culture, history, civic connection, and the unique ways public humanities enrich our lives in Hawai’i.

Who may apply for Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities Grants?

Grant applicants require a sponsoring nonprofit group or public institution based in Hawaiʻi. The sponsor organization must be a project partner and contribute substantively to the project beyond their fiscal responsibility. Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities does not award grants to individuals, out-of-state, or for-profit organizations.

Who decides what projects get funded? 

Ours is a competitive grant award process. A committee of HIHumanities Board members—with expertise in the humanities and diverse connections to multiple islands—discusses and ranks all applications within a review period, and makes a recommendation to the full Board for review and final approval. Full Board meetings are normally held in March, July, and December of every year.

What kinds of requirements are part of my application process?

Organization’s Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and System for Award Management (SAM)

Because our grants are federal in origin, your organization is required to be registered in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM). Your registration, which is renewed annually, must be currently active at the time of your application. The process for entity registrations includes getting the Unique Entity ID, and requires assertions, representations and certifications, and other information about your organization. You will know you have been fully registered when you receive a CAGE Code.

Your UEI registration must be open for public searches. As part of the application review process, we will search and access your organization’s information to confirm the registration status. If we cannot access your UEI (SAM) your application may be disqualified.

Your organization (or grant applying entity) may already be registered in the SAM system and have a UEI. Your executive administrators should know about your organization’s SAM account and its current registration status, so be sure to check with them.

More Information click HERE.

For our Public Humanities Grants—Humanities Leadership
A strong humanities project should include project personnel that provides guidance, rigor, and analysis, to develop a public humanities program with depth, context, and complexity (i.e., multiple perspectives, connection to larger history, etc.). The Project Director can also be the Humanities Leadership. At least one Humanities Leadership name and a letter of commitment explaining their support, role, and commitment is required.

For our Preservation & Access Grants—Preservation and Access Leadership
A strong project includes project personnel that can provide professional guidance, rigor, and analysis, and apply librarian, archival preservation, and/or conservation standards and develop universal access using humanities indexing and cataloguing methods.   At least one Preservation and Access Leadership name and a letter of commitment explaining their support, role, and commitment is required.

How long can a Public Humanities Grants and Preservation & Access Grants project period be?

Any project supported by a HIHumanities grant, must have a duration of one year or less.

What kind of support can I get for creating my application?

Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities dedicates a staff member to supporting our grantees. Ours is a competitive grant award process. If you are interested in a consultation about applying for a grant, we encourage you to contact Director of Community Grants Stacy Hoshino at shoshino@hihumanities.org, (808) 469-4551.