Our Story

Washington, DC has a treasured cultural legacy that spans generations, but many residents and communities are concerned that its legacy will vanish as the landscape of the District changes. People fear being lost or forgotten as development makes their neighborhoods unfamiliar and they have a deep need to have their stories told, honored and preserved. HumanitiesDC heard those concerns 40 years ago and, since then, has been creating opportunities for people to share their histories and hopes for the future.

Enthusiastically backed by the District of Columbia Government, HumanitiesDC has transformed the District through the processes and documentation of our human experiences and connectivity. Over the past four decades HumanitiesDC has educated people to understand DC’s rich past, make sense of its present, and envision its future. Its work and grants have supported the incorporation of the humanities disciplines into people’s lives and have strengthened civic engagement, united communities and cultures during times of triumph and tragedy, provided new insights and perspectives, and made the District of Columbia neighborhoods better places to live by embracing history and heritage as we develop and grow as a city.

Since 1980, HumanitiesDC has enriched the quality of life, fostered intellectual stimulation, and promoted cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of local history in all neighborhoods of the District through humanities programs and grants. As the National Endowment for the Humanities designated state humanities council for Washington, DC, HumanitiesDC is a leader in serving the District, its residents, and the cultural organizations and scholars who enrich the tapestry of our diverse community.

HumanitiesDC is committed to supporting projects that breathe life into the unique stories of our rich communities. Through our grants programs and various partnerships throughout the city and all eight wards, HumanitiesDC offers unique financial support that affords communities, neighborhood organizations, churches, and others the chance to tell their stories through public humanities projects such as: written publications, documentary films, websites, lesson plans, tours, and much, much more.

One of the many things that makes HumanitiesDC’s funding programs unique is the close partnership between grantees and HumanitiesDC’s grants officers. These partnerships produce academically authoritative, technically polished final products that continue to benefit students, researchers, and the residents of Washington, DC through the DC Digital Museum, a permanent digital archive administered by HumanitiesDC. The Digital Museum allows anyone online to access and learn about DC’s rich history and heritage now and well into the future, making it an incredible public service and archival platform.