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Our Impact

HumanitiesDC believes that we can transform our lives through the power of art, music, architecture, literature, history and culture. These are the humanities – the things that shape us as individuals and bind us as a community.

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.

We are dedicated to preserving and promoting Washington, DC’s distinctive culture and history. Since 1980, HumanitiesDC has been exploring the District’s unique art, music, literature, history and culture that have shaped the past and builds the future. HumanitiesDC provides grants, youth leadership and civic engagement programs to advance cultural, educational and community-based initiatives.

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.

HumanitiesDC has something for everyone. Historians – or anyone curious about DC’s history – can access our DC Digital Museum for information or inspiration. Amateur and professional filmmakers and oral historians can create a project that will be supported, promoted and archived by HumanitiesDC. Residents – new and old – are welcome to attend a project screening or Humanitini to learn about DC’s rich cultural history. And young leaders can participate in programs that help them learn where they come from and shape their community’s future.

Through programs like the DC Oral History Collaborative and the DC Digital Museum, HumanitiesDC uses technology to preserve the personal and physical history of the District, keeping alive the people and places that have witnessed the District’s changing landscape.

Through grant programs like DC DOCS PartnershipsSoul of the City and the Humanities Vision Partnership, HumanitiesDC supports people and projects that contribute to the District’s future.

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Grants Given

Since HumanitiesDC’s birth, more than 2,000 funding opportunities have been awarded to members of our community.

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Neighborhoods & Communities

The DC Community Heritage Project grants have impacted more than 50 neighborhoods and communities by preserving local history.

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Programs & Partnerships

HumanitiesDC is proud to offer a range of programs providing rich experiences.

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Preserved Stories

Thanks to our long-standing partnership with the DC Historic Preservation Office, over 600 stories are accessible to anyone in DC and beyond.

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Curricula Developed for Students

Since HumanitiesDC’s birth, more than 2,000 funding opportunities have been awarded to members of our community.

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Humanitini Events

Our monthly Humanitini program has brought over 70 engaging panels of humanists into DC bars and restaurants to discuss our great city’s history and future.

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Events and Job Listings on CultureCapital

CultureCapital cultivates public participation in the arts, and creates partnerships between Washington’s artistic and business communities. We provide a public resource for the best of DC, Maryland and Virginia performances, museums, galleries, classes in The Arts, and more. In addition, our Job Bank is Metro DC’s source for recruiting and finding arts administration jobs.

Special thanks to Double R Productions for the production of the video above.

Staff

HumanitiesDC is staffed by a dedicated team who commit their talents to preserving DC’s unique and valuable cultural history. Our team members work together to bring engaging and enlightening humanities programming to the people of Washington, DC.

Valerie has over 30 years of related experience in her leadership positions and consulting with senior level executives in nonprofit organizations. Valerie assists DC area nonprofits through executive transitions, having been an interim executive director in 11 DC area nonprofits over the last 20 years, guiding them through executive transitions. She also works with nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning, team building, board development, creating and maintaining successful partnerships, improving leadership, surfacing and addressing organizational conflict, managing organizational change and executive coaching.
Jasper Collier manages all aspects of the DC Oral History Collaborative program. Jasper has previously worked in curatorial and collections management at the Dittrick Medical History Center and President Lincoln’s Cottage. He has also held positions with the National Building Museum and the Western Reserve Historical Society and has worked as an independent consultant in historical research. Jasper holds a Master of Arts in Public History from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Case Western Reserve University.
Andrea Carroll McNeil oversees HumanitiesDC’s grants portfolio supporting cultural and educational programming and projects, having previously served as a Program Manager at Goodwill Industries International. She has significant experience with grants management, program development and implementation, community outreach, corporate relations and volunteer management. Andrea holds a Master of Science in Administration with a concentration in Public and Community Health from Trinity Washington University, a Non-Profit Management Certificate from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Howard University.
Tracey Mullery aids in the coordination of HumanitiesDC’s programs, grants, and volunteers. Tracey has over a decade of experience in arts and cultural organizations, having spent much of this time in museum management. She has experience with forward facing work, such as visitor and member experience, social media and email engagement, as well as volunteer and database management. Tracey holds a bachelor of arts in Art History and Environmental Policy from Rutgers University.
Stephanie Scott is the Operations Manager at HumanitiesDC. She initially joined HumanitiesDC in 2009 as the Executive Assistant. She has over 20 years of administrative experience which also includes development and construction project management and marketing. Prior to joining HumanitiesDC, Stephanie was the Executive Administrator for a DC-based Historic Restoration and Painting company responsible for preserving historical buildings as the Tivoli Theatre and President Lincoln’s Cottage.
Damika Baker is responsible for HumanitiesDC’s fundraising and marketing efforts. With over a decade of development experience in the creative and cultural sector, Damika has worked in senior leadership positions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and Academy Art Museum. Damika holds an undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Maryland-College Park and is a 2018 Museum Leadership Institute NextGen Fellow (formerly Getty Leadership Institute).

Board

HumanitiesDC is governed by a diverse Board of Directors, including four Mayoral appointees. They bring a wide array of talents to their role as stewards and guides of the organization including: humanities scholarship, communications and marketing, fundraising and development, advocacy and public programming.

Michele Collison is a freelance writer published in both the New York Times and The Washington Post. She’s the author of the bestselling book, “It’s all Good Hair,” published by Harper Collins Books. She is the former Assistant Editor for the Chronicle of Higher Education where she wrote news and feature stories for the nation’s popular national education newspaper. Ms. Collison’s work has been applauded by both national and international audience, having covered Nelson Mandela’s visit to Morehouse College, the late renowned scholar Manning Marable and the declining number of African-American young men attending college. She has traveled extensively throughout the country to attend academic conferences to cover tenure and faculty research issues.
Cole Fiala works to empower communities and inspire change around the world through museum exhibitions, events, and people-to-people exchanges. Since 2018, his focus has been on the environment and sustainability, serving as Manager of International Traveling Exhibitions for the National Geographic Society. Previously, he helped achieve the public diplomacy goals of the U.S. Department of State and diplomatic corps partners while at the Meridian International Center. He was appointed by Mayor Bowser to the Board of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, in 2020, and has regularly served as a grant review panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Cole earned his MA in Museums Studies from Marist College and the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici and his BA in Art History and International Studies from Loyola University Chicago. He can often be found taking his dog on long walks in Columbia Heights or dining out with his husband and friends at their favorite local establishments.
Lee Murphy has a passion for helping people achieve their dreams. Her mission to assist her clients to navigate their path to home ownership has driven her to become a premiere realtor in Washington, DC. As featured in the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Murphy has consistently been ranked in the Top 20 in Individual Sales Volume since 2014 for the Washington, DC area. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies and French from Austin College and the American University in Cairo.
Maceo Thomas is an advocate in the local creative community with over 10 years of experience in programming and event planning. Receiving his Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Thomas has applied his instincts for public service to creating opportunities for artists in Washington, DC. Working with musicians and painters alike, Mr. Thomas has created various programs including a monthly art exhibit and music festival, garnering the recognition of The Community Foundation with the Linowes Award in 2011. He is is currently a real estate sales associate and independent property manager in the DC and Maryland area.
Evelyn Boyd Simmons is a senior executive with broad and varied experience with Fortune 100 companies, federal and civic governments, nonprofits and entrepreneurial ventures. A committed civic leader, Ms. Simmons has been an active parent and community leader on education and school issues. She is a past President of the Logan Circle Community Association, having previously been awarded the organization’s Community Improvement Award. Ms. Simmons is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She is a certified Partnership Broker and Parent Leadership Training Institute Facilitator and an alum of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellow program at Harvard Business School and Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD).
Donna Woolf is an International Communications Strategist with the U.S. Department of State. She has strong management skills and extensive media and public diplomacy experience in Europe and the Middle East. In addition, Ms. Woolf is a documentary producer/director with experience leading creative teams to produce over 15 award-winning audio and video programs for national and international audiences. She is fluent in French, Arabic and Spanish.