Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.

What is Indiana Humanities?

A statewide nonprofit dedicated to promoting the public humanities. We’re a grant-maker, a neutral convener, a facilitator, a program partner and much more.

What does Indiana Humanities do?

Indiana Humanities encourages Hoosiers to think, read and talk by connecting people, opening minds and enriching lives. We do that by:

  • Initiating our own programs that inspire thought and foster conversation (such as Next Indiana Campfires)
  • Supporting humanities organizations throughout the state with resources (like grants)
  • Highlighting the importance of the humanities – in person and online (follow us on social media!)

During the past five years, we’ve distributed more than $460,000 to 154 organizations in 68 communities for historic preservation education and humanities initiatives. Those grants have funded field trips to historic properties, literature workshops for teachers, documentaries, apps and more. Our grants leverage nearly $8 in local match for every $1 we grant.

Who does Indiana Humanities serve?

Everyone who lives in Indiana. But here’s a sampling: Vonnegut-obsessed teenagers. Prison book clubs. Literature-loving veterans. Active citizens. Life-long learners. Future-minded historians. Social media-loving librarians.

What’s the history of the organization?

Indiana Humanities traces its roots to 1971, when the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invited a group of five energetic Hoosier citizens (Dr. Marvin E. Hartig, Mrs. Edmund F. (Virginia) Ball, Dr. Robert E. Burns, Mr. Edward N. Howard, and Dr. Robert W. Richey) to form a statewide grantmaking agency. The Indiana Committee for the Humanities, as it was known then, began its first year of operations on September 1, 1972.

Throughout our history, three themes have been the hallmark of our work – public dialogue, sharing resources and ambitious projects.

What are “the humanities”? 

Often grouped as the fields of history, literature, poetry, 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.

What types of grants does Indiana Humanities provide? 

Indiana Humanities offers a competitive grants program which awards funding to Indiana nonprofit organizations, schools and other institutions. Visit our grants page for more information on deadlines and special grant initiatives.

How is the organization funded?

Indiana Humanities is generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The remainder of the funding comes from private, philanthropic and corporate donations. In order to effectively provide programs, grants and resources to Hoosiers, Indiana Humanities needs your financial support. You can mail us a check (1500 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46202) or you can contribute online. All contributions to Indiana Humanities, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, are fully deductible within federal and state law.

How can I get involved?

Interested in history, literature, philosophy or any of the other humanities fields? Attend an event held by Indiana Humanities or one of our grantees. Check out the calendar for humanities events throughout the state.

Have a book club? Take advantage of the Novel Conversations library.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get monthly updates about grant deadlines, upcoming events and general humanities news.

Hoosiers interested in serving on our volunteer, statewide Board of Directors can review our Request for Board Nominations.

You can also support Indiana Humanities financially by contributing online. Your gift helps us take the humanities to more Hoosiers.

How can I get updated information from Indiana Humanities?

Indiana Humanities provides most of its updates digitally. You can sign up to receive monthly e-newsletters and you can follow us on Twitter (@INHumanities) or on Facebook for more timely updates. We also regularly post to Instagram (@INHumanities). Check the homepage often for news and events.