6 Humanities Groups Elevating Local Culture In States Across America

Understanding how people behave, think, and interact with one another is vital to keeping society running smoothly. Knowing our history, being able to communicate our ideas, and having a way to express our creativity are all important parts of being human. If you're interested in using the humanities to educate people and bring communities together, check out the six organizations listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

State Groups Dedicated To The Humanities

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
Nevada Humanities Reno, NV Connect and transform communities by sharing and amplifying the stories, ideas, experiences, and traditions of the diverse people of Nevada
Wisconsin Humanities Council Madison, WI Support and create programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin
Humanities Washington Seattle, WA Open minds and bridge divides by creating spaces to explore different perspectives
North Carolina Humanities Council Charlotte, NC Serve as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life and facilitate the exploration and celebration of the many voices and stories of North Carolina's cultures and heritage
New Hampshire Humanities Concord, NH Offer essential opportunities for discovery, self-reflection, and lifelong learning by fostering civil discourse and bringing ideas from the humanities to the people of New Hampshire
Humanities Texas Austin, TX Advance heritage, culture, and education by conducting and supporting public programs in history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines

What Are The Humanities?

The term covers branches of knowledge that focus on humans, culture, values, and the ways that people express themselves. Below are ten fields of study that fall under this category:

  1. Anthropology
  2. Archeology
  3. History
  4. Linguistics and languages
  5. Law and politics
  6. Literature
  7. Performing arts
  8. Philosophy
  9. Religion
  10. Visual arts

Ways To Engage In Lifelong Learning

  • Visit a museum or historic site
  • Read both fiction and non-fiction as often as you can
  • Teach others what you know
  • Explore new places
  • Start a creative project, like a vlog or podcast
  • Get a good desk for your home
  • Join a study group
  • Take a hike through nature
  • Listen to different types of music
  • Look up words you don't know in the dictionary

Why Tech Needs The Humanities

In Depth

Whether it's visual art, philosophical thought, or anthropological research, contributions made by the humanities are integral to any world culture. These disciplines not only add interest to our lives, but continually develop and remake our societal structures, creating the conditions for how we see, think, and behave. The organizations included here embrace this notion, using everything from literature to the social sciences to enrich the communities they serve. All affiliates of the National Endowment for the Humanities, here are, in no particular order, six groups enhancing the regional cultures of states throughout the nation.

At #1 is Nevada Humanities, which brings people together through an engagement with the diverse cultures, traditions, and histories that comprise life in the Silver State. Its myriad programs express the wide-ranging experiences of being a Nevadan, with events and activities that emphasize local heritage, stimulate intellectual curiosity, and explore important contemporary issues in the community. To support other culturally enriching projects, the group awards grants to statewide nonprofits such as educational institutions, libraries, and tribal and local governments.

Nevada Humanities provides many opportunities for people to be both creatively and intellectually engaged. Among its offerings are panel discussions, an annual literary crawl, and an exhibition series that spotlights the work of regional writers and artists. Also significant is its Las Vegas Book Festival, which features literacy-building activities such as readings and workshops. Beyond these in-person events, the organization expands its reach through its Online Nevada Encyclopedia, a comprehensive educational resource that explores the state's culture using articles, videos, and other interactive media. Aid the group's efforts by making a donation online.

Aid the group's efforts by making a donation online.

For #2 we have the Wisconsin Humanities Council. Founded in 1972, the WHC bolsters communities across the state by producing and supporting programs focused on culture, history, and cross-disciplinary dialogue. Championing regional heritage and civic values, it facilitates local projects and educational opportunities that improve intellectual, social, and economic life in Wisconsin. Central to its mission are its funding efforts, which come in the form of matching grants given each year to places such as schools, museums, and churches.

Among the WHC's many impactful programs is Love Wisconsin, a digital project that uses storytelling and social media to unite people across cultural barriers. Equally important is the Beyond the Headlines project, which addresses civic challenges by motivating face-to-face dialogue between the public and members of the media. Other prominent programs include a radio series that celebrates diverse Wisconsin stories, and a Poet Laureate Commission that elects a poetry ambassador to spread creative expression to audiences statewide. Give to the WHC's annual fund to keep its operations running strong.

Arriving at #3 is Humanities Washington. Driven by the goal of renewing people's meaningful engagement with the world and each other, this organization provides audiences with opportunities for reflection, cultural exchange, and the exploration of diverse perspectives. Steered by scholars and storytellers, its events and programs cover a breadth of topics including philosophy, politics, regional history, and current news, and are held at sundry community locations in over a hundred cities throughout Washington state.

Driven by the goal of renewing people's meaningful engagement with the world and each other, this organization provides audiences with opportunities for reflection, cultural exchange, and the exploration of diverse perspectives.

Signature programs offered by HW include Think & Drink, which turns pubs and tasting rooms into forums for stimulating conversations led by experts from a variety of disciplines. The organization facilitates further thought-provoking discourse through its Speakers Bureau program, which brings hundreds of enlightening presentations to public locations. Prime Time Family Reading, meanwhile, is a library-hosted series that equips children and their families with valuable reading and discussion skills. Become a Humanities Sustainer to help ensure that HW can continue to serve communities through its free programming.

For #4 we come to the North Carolina Humanities Council, which is devoted to honoring and exploring the state's rich cultural legacy. With an emphasis on lifelong, interdisciplinary learning and social development, it initiates programs that promote cultural awareness, cultivate critical thinking, and inspire thoughtful, transformational dialogue within and across the state's diverse communities. The Council serves residents throughout North Carolina's 100 counties, advancing a unique catalog of local and participatory educational opportunities designed to be inclusive of everyone.

One of the Council's most illustrious series, the Road Scholars program features expert guest speakers who deliver public lectures on subjects such as ethics, philosophy, art history, literature, and linguistics. Also significant is the NC Center for the Book, an affiliate of the eponymous Library of Congress program that encourages interest in literacy through scholarly discussions, mentorships, reading groups, and more. In addition, the Council offers professional development workshops to help educators enliven their classroom techniques and curricula. Help contribute to the vitality of North Carolina's cultural life by sending a gift of cash or stock.

Also significant is the NC Center for the Book, an affiliate of the eponymous Library of Congress program that encourages interest in literacy through scholarly discussions, mentorships, reading groups, and more.

Landing at #5 is New Hampshire Humanities. Through community project grants, programs, and educational initiatives, this organization connects people in the Granite State to ideas that have the capacity to inspire, enrich, and transform their lives. Its offerings, which encompass everything from city walking tours to seminars and workshops, are designed to spark dialogue and cultivate informed, socially and politically conscious citizens. It also produces a podcast series entitled "Past Lives," which examines some of New Hampshire's stranger and more occult historical happenings.

An important component of the organization's mission is the Connections book discussion program, which engages both native English-speaking adults and new Americans. Reaching everyone from refugees to prisoners, it helps to promote language skills and nurture a culture of reading among those who face disadvantages. Other great initiatives include Humanities@Work, which brings innovative history and arts programs into the workplace, and Open Questions, a series of thought-provoking discussions led by philosophy professors. To assist the organization's current and future efforts, consider contributing to its endowment funds.

Finally, for #6 we get Humanities Texas, which facilitates and sponsors public programs in history, literature, and other disciplines in order to strengthen the state's culture and education. One of the ways it advances its mission is by providing social studies and language arts teachers with extensive training and resources, giving them the tools and encouragement they need to invigorate their instruction and inspire their students. The group amplifies its impact through traveling exhibitions that inform audiences about history and politics, as well as by offering institutions access to a substantial collection of documentaries and media materials.

One of the ways it advances its mission is by providing social studies and language arts teachers with extensive training and resources, giving them the tools and encouragement they need to invigorate their instruction and inspire their students.

Made to spur contemplation and boost civic engagement, programs offered by Humanities Texas span methods and media forms. A weekly radio program, Texas Originals shines a light on individuals who have profoundly impacted the state's heritage. Public lectures feature the eclectic presentations of renowned scholars and experts in a variety of fields, while Veterans' Voices involves readings and conversations with combat veterans and military families. There's also an annual holiday book fair that includes visitations by a number of esteemed authors. Show your support by becoming a member, or by donating to one of the group's initiatives online.