This RFP is open to individual applicants only.Download Request for Proposal Apply Now
Prospective Curators will provide three preferred program dates that fall within the project period on their applications and will be asked to indicate whether they would be able to accept an assigned program date.
Applicants may request up to $5,000.
Applicants may submit one project application for this grant program in FY2020.
Please read this request for proposals in full before submitting an application.
HumanitiesDC endeavors to make its applications as open and accessible as possible. If you are unable to access any materials on our site, please contact the staff member listed below for support. When contacting us, please include the following in your query:
Jasper Collier – Deputy Director For Programs
HumanitiesDC is the State Humanities Council for Washington, DC, and one of 56 such institutions found in every state and territory of the United States, each affiliates of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Founded in 1980, our mission is to: enrich the quality of life, foster intellectual stimulation, and promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of local history in all neighborhoods of the District through humanities programs and grants.
Potential projects may focus on: “language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”
HumanitiesDC is offering the opportunity for graduate students and others conducting and presenting original humanities research to become Humanitini Curators. Each Curator will create a public humanities program based on their research or area of expertise. As part of the application, prospective curators will need to fully describe this research topic, and where it is situated within a wider humanities field. This opportunity is part of the Humanities Grant Program supported with funding from the District of Columbia Government through the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
The public programs will follow HumanitiesDC’s successful Humanitini model that brings thoughtful humanities discussions to Washington, DC’s happy-hour scene. View the Curator guide for producing a Humanitini program here. Curators must budget for a professional videographer to film their Humanitini program and edit the footage, and an ASL interpreter to provide interpretation at the program. Curators will also write an evaluative report on the challenges and successes encountered while translating their research for a public audience.
NOTICE REGARDING Covid-19
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, applicants may propose virtual programming rather than a public program in a bar or restaurant. Virtual programs must be recorded but would not need to be filmed by a professional videographer. Applicants proposing virtual programs should propose budgets that take the elimination of this requirement into consideration.
Strong connection to a humanities discipline
Prospective curators must identify one or more humanities disciplines to which their project is connected. They must be able to demonstrate that they have conducted extensive research on the topic they hope to translate into a public program.
Topics that are both thoughtful and entertaining
The Humanitini is informative and educational, but it is also a fun and engaging experience for audiences. Curators’ program ideas should be suitable for a happy-hour conversation in a bar or restaurant.
Informed, diverse panels and capable moderators
Ideal panels will be comprised of speakers from both inside and outside academia.
A plan for attracting an audience of at least 30 people
Tentative venue commitment
The strongest requests will have a tentative commitment from a Washington, DC bar or restaurant to host the program unless the proposed program is virtual.
Commitment from a professional videographer
A professional videographer must film the Humanitini program and edit the footage to create a high-quality record of the program. (The services of a professional videographer are not required for virtual programs. Though the recorded virtual program may still require professional editing services.)
The HumanitiesDC grants portal can be accessed at http://grantapplication.wdchumanities.org. Please be sure to review the grant qualifications, terms and conditions for the program you are interested in before beginning an application. If you or your organization have applied for a HumanitiesDC grant before, please DO NOT create a new account. If you are having trouble accessing your existing account, please email the staff contact indicated in this RFP.
All HumanitiesDC grant applications are accepted via an online grant portal. Applications must be successfully submitted by 11:59pm on the day of the deadline. Applicants will receive a confirmation email when their proposals have been successfully submitted. Applicants should contact the applicable HumanitiesDC staff member immediately should they encounter any technical issues or if they do not receive a confirmation email. Incomplete or late applications or applications failing to meet the guidelines or eligibility requirements will not be assigned to the evaluator panels nor will they be considered for funding. HumanitiesDC does not accept mailed, emailed, or hand-delivered applications or required attachments. HumanitiesDC will accept reasonable accommodation requests from applicants with disabilities in advance of the application due date to assist them in submitting grant applications via mail, email, or hand-delivery. To make a request for reasonable accommodation contact the grants staff member listed on this RFP and allow time for the approval of the request.
100% of awarded grant funds must be applied to direct program costs. This may include salary, consulting fees, and/or honoraria for individuals working on the project, but cannot include indirect costs, overhead, rent, utilities, or administrative fees. Other disallowed expenses include: food and beverages, tuition and scholarships, debt reduction, re-granting, costs related to fundraisers and special events, expenses unrelated to the execution of the project, and funding to foreign or domestic government agencies.
Examples of Allowable Costs:
Examples of Disallowed Costs:
Applicants may contact HumanitiesDC’s grants staff with questions regarding allowable costs. Grantees will be required to detail all expenses in quarterly and final reports.
All applicants must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, services rendered by state and local government, places of public accommodation, transportation and telecommunication services.
HumanitiesDC schedules at least four technical grants assistance workshops for prospective applicants prior to the deadline for each cycle. Several of these workshops may be conducted via live webinars. These workshops, led by HumanitiesDC grants staff, provide information on grant qualifications, grant writing best practices, and navigation of the online grants portal. HumanitiesDC staff will not write applications for prospective applicants but will provide feedback on drafts. To request feedback, applicants must send a request by email to the grants staff member listed on the RFP no less than two weeks before the deadline. The technical grants assistance workshops are free and open to the public, but applicants are strongly encouraged to register via Eventbrite before attending. As the workshops are scheduled, the dates, times, locations, and registration links will be available on our website at https://www.wdchumanities.org.
Qualified applications are submitted to a review panel comprised of Washington, DC residents with backgrounds and/or experience in humanities programming or scholarship. These panelists score the proposals assigned to them based on an established rubricthat closely aligns with the questions in the application. After the reading and scoring period, panelists convene in person to discuss the merits and deficiencies of the applications in their cohort and to finalize their rankings under the guidance of HumanitiesDC grants staff and board members. All panelists, staff and board members are expected to remain impartial as they undertake their respective parts in the evaluation process. HumanitiesDC requires that all involved recuse themselves from review of any application that presents a personal or professional conflict of interest, and panelists must sign a statement acknowledging that they will adhere to this policy.
The rankings presented by the panelists are adjusted according to thematic, geographic, and audience diversity by the HumanitiesDC grants staff and a final slate of proposed projects are submitted to the HumanitiesDC board for approval.
HumanitiesDC will notify applicants of their status (funded or denied) no more than 45 days after the application deadline. Grant award recipients will receive an official grant award letter through the online system which will include a link to submit acceptance forms and to sign the grant conditions. Denied applicants will be given one week to request a summary of panelist comments.For award recipients, the date of payment is subject to the availability of funds and the processing of required documentation. Awards are disbursed via direct deposit, and all awarded applicants are required to submit an ACH form which is made available through the online grants portal.