Indiana Humanities is a statewide nonprofit that infuses the humanities into our daily lives. We do this by providing grants, convening discussions, uplifting humanities scholars, spotlighting humanities organizations and activities, and creating our own programs that help Hoosiers think, read and talk.
What are the humanities?
Often grouped as the fields of history, literature, philosophy and ethics, world languages and cultures, religious studies, archaeology and other related disciplines, “the humanities” are not a thing but a process for pursuing truths about the shared human condition. They inspire, engage and enrich us, allowing us to remember our past, envision our future and consider ourselves as individuals and as members of communities. In essence, the humanities are the study of, participation in and sharing of the things humans make and the things that make us human.
Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.
An Indiana where the humanities belong to everyone, where action is rooted in insight and where community grows from conversation.
Indiana Humanities was formed in 1972, when the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) asked a group of five energetic Indiana citizens to form a statewide grant-making agency. The group was comprised of Dr. Marvin E. Hartig, Mrs. Edmund F. (Virginia) Ball, Dr. Robert E. Burns, Mr. Edward N. Howard and Dr. Robert W. Richey. Their goal was to focus federal dollars on more local, grassroots initiatives. The Indiana Committee for the Humanities, as it was known then, began its operations on September 1 of that year.
Throughout our history, three themes have been the hallmark of our work: supportive grantmaking, public dialogue and ambitious projects.
Indiana Humanities is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The remainder of our funding comes from private donations, including those from individuals, foundations and corporations. In order to effectively provide programs, grants and resources to Hoosiers, Indiana Humanities needs your financial support. You can contribute online or mail us a check at 1500 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46202.
Indiana Humanities made a commitment in response to the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing reality of systemic racism in our state and nation. We have committed to continuing to develop successful practices, deepen our relationships with communities of color, ensure accessibility and transparency in our grants process and more.
We recognize this is a long journey. We are committed to taking the time to get it right. This work involves our board, our staff and our partners, and it is ongoing. In the near term, we are making these commitments:
- We will share readings, toolkits and media that can help Hoosiers think, read and talk about systemic racism, policing and protest.
- We will work with humanists (scholars and writers) to curate texts for reflection on race, justice, protest and community in Indiana. Then we will provide funding and training to help individuals and communities talk about them.
- We will strengthen our efforts to make our grants available and accessible to organizations, especially those who serve communities of color and are led by people of color, that use the humanities to spark dialogue, understanding and the stitching together of our social and civic fabric. We are committed to ensuring our grants processes are equitable and transparent.