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45.129 Promotion of the Humanities_Federal/State Partnership




National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, Public Law 89-209, 20 U.S.C. 951 et seq.
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To promote local, statewide, and regional humanities programming through annual grants to humanities councils in each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. The 56 councils conduct humanities projects and grant programs for local nonprofit organizations, institutions, and groups, and occasionally for individuals. Under the provisions of 20 U.S.C. 956(f)(8), only one entity in each State may receive assistance from NEH as the State humanities council.


Project Grants.
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Grants may be used to fund local, statewide, and regional humanities projects, subject to guidelines determined by each State humanities council.


Applicant Eligibility:   Nonprofit citizen councils in the several States and territories which conform to the requirements of 20 U.S.C. 956(f). If the State matches a certain percentage of the Federal grant and meets other legislated requirements, the Governor may designate the existing Council as a State agency. The resulting agency becomes an eligible applicant.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   State and local governments; sponsored organizations; public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations; other public institutions/organizations; Federally recognized Indian tribal governments; Native American organizations; U.S. Territories; nongovernment general; minority organizations; other specialized groups; and quasi-public nonprofit institutions which apply directly to the State Humanities Council.

Credentials/Documentation:   Submission of an annual compliance plan and a self-assessment every five years from the council. Compliance requirements are outlined in 20 U.S.C. 956(f). Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-122 as amended for nonprofit organizations. Currently, the 56 councils are excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

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Pre-application Coordination:   This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Filing of a compliance plan is required from all councils annually and a self-assessment every five years. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure:   Compliance plans are reviewed by Federal/State Partnership staff. Self-assessments are reviewed by teams of visiting scholars and other professionals. Awards are made by the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities after recommendation by the National Council on the Humanities.

Deadlines:   June 1 for annual compliance plans. Timetable for submission of self-assessment material is flexible.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   Variable: Six months.

Appeals:   None.

Renewals:   None.


Formula and Matching Requirements:   As established by the Congressional funding formula, each State council receives $200,000 of the definite funds appropriated to Federal/State Partnership. Of the remaining funds, 44 percent is divided equally among the States which have a population of 200,000 or more, 22 percent is allocated to each council on the basis of population, and 34 percent is awarded at the discretion of the Chairman of the agency. Total matching of the grant on a one-to-one basis is required. Source: 20 U.S.C. 956 (f)(4).

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Thirty-six months. Funds must be expended during the grant period. Funds are released as required.


Reports:   Compliance plans are required annually. Cash report and an expenditure report are required quarterly. Final expenditure reports are due within 90 days after completion or termination of project support by NEH.

Audits:   For nongovernmental recipients, audits are to be carried out in accordance with the provisions set forth in OMB Circular No. A- 110, "Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations Uniform Administrative Requirements" and with OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of Institutions of Higher Education and Other Nonprofit Organizations." In addition, grants are subject to inspection and audits by NEH and other Federal officials.

Records:   Documentation of expenditures and other fiscal records must be retained for three years following the submission of the final expenditure report.


Account Identification:   59-0200-0-1-503.

Obligations:   (Grants) FY 01 $30,656,382; FY 02 est $31,829,000; and FY 03 est $31,829,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  
In FY 2014 the range of assistance was $330,880 to $2,202,840. Average was $763,756.

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A singular achievement of Federal/State Partnership has been the establishment, in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, and Guam of 56 continuing nonprofit organizations which have succeeded at serving as the link between the humanities and the interests and concerns of the States' citizens. In fiscal year 2001, councils supported thousands of programs that reached millions of Americans. Among these programs were 3,232 chautauqua-type performances, 2,507 exhibitions, 13,094 media program events, 5,730 speakers bureau presentations, 4,347 literacy programs, 13,331 reading and discussion programs, 2,894 preservation and local history projects, and 1,738 teacher institutes and workshops. Council-funded exhibitions attracted over 9 million visitors and media projects attracted audiences of approximately 80 million. More than 4.7 million people attended scholar-led seminars, conferences and lectures, while tens of thousands participated in book discussions and K-12 education projects. Each State council sets its own guidelines for application categories to respond to the needs and resources in its State.


45 CFR 1100 and 1105. Information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and program guidelines are available online at or upon request from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC 20506. Available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, is the Endowment's official publication, "Humanities" by subscription (6 issues annually, $24.00 domestic, $30.00 foreign). Addresses and phone numbers for the 56 State humanities councils are available from Federal/State Partnership, NEH, Room 511, Washington, DC 20506, and from the NEH web site,


Regional or Local Office:   Located in each State. Addresses available from National Endowment for the Humanities.

Headquarters Office:   Federal/State Partnership, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Room 603, Washington, District of Columbia 20506 Email: Phone: (202) 606-8254.

Web Site Address:


The Georgia Humanities Council is helping to fulfill a character education mandate of the state's General Assembly through the Georgia Center for Character Education. Developed in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Education, the Center for Character Education assists teachers, school boards, policy makers, parents and communities by providing information on character education. In Nebraska, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Utah the humanities councils serve as state coordinators for the Capitol Forum on America's Future, a three-part program that offers opportunities for high school social studies teachers and their students to devote a year of study to the role of the United States in world affairs. The Indiana Humanities Council's Habits of the Heart program transmits the American philanthropic tradition to children and youth in partnership with such youth-serving organizations as Boy and Girl Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA-YWCA, and 4-H. It also works with young people in faith-based youth organizations by means of their own faith traditions. The complex story of the Colorado River is being told to the people in seven western states in the Colorado River watershed. "Moving Waters: The Colorado River and the West" involves the humanities councils in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The project includes a traveling exhibit, website, radio documentary, speakers series, book discussions, and programming designed specifically for each of the twenty-two sites it will visit. The Minnesota Humanities Commission, through its Elder Reading Initiative and Learning in Retirement Network, helps seniors remain creative, thoughtful people. This initiative trains readers - often active older volunteers - in the practice of reading aloud to seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult day care.


Each State council sets its own guidelines and criteria for assessing proposals, which are widely disseminated within the State. The criteria for State council funding from NEH are established in the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. Section 950, 956, and by the NEH Federal/State Partnership.

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