Humanities Fund for Baltimore

Both the peaceful protests and the violence in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody this past April responded to decades of structural racism and inequity in housing, education, and economic opportunities in predominantly African American communities.

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) believes that the equity that needs to be created here in Baltimore, and across much of the nation, can begin with the humanities. Only the humanities—especially history, the law, ethics, and philosophy—can give us the contexts for understanding and addressing these problems. And only the humanities can facilitate the conversations that will ultimately contribute to solutions. These conversations are—at their foundation—about fostering democracy at a difficult and painful time in our city and of polarization, fear, and animosity here and in the nation.

New MHC Grant Program: Humanities Fund for Baltimore

MHC is now accepting applications for up to $5,000 to its Humanities Fund for Baltimore.

This grant program seeks to:

  1. Support Baltimore nonprofits to create public programs that use the humanities (e.g. history, literature, poetry, ethics, sociology, philosophy, criminal justice) to bring people together to understand the many contexts for the unrest of April 2015.
  2. Support humanities programs that educate young people and adults about the history and the roots of economic and racial inequality in communities of color in Baltimore City (e.g. housing discrimination, de-industrialization) and give opportunity and space for telling their stories.
  3. Tap into and build on work already being done by others in the community. More specifically, we want to inspire new work that uses the humanities to explore the complex problems that plague our city.


Nonprofit organizations, community associations, and faith-based organizations are eligible to apply for funding.

You are eligible to apply for a grant if:

  • The sponsoring applicant is a nonprofit organization; individuals are not eligible to apply for grants;
  • Your organization serves Baltimore City residents;
  • The humanities are a central component of your project.

All projects must:

  • Be rooted in one or more disciplines of the humanities;
  • Engage communities impacted by structural racism in Baltimore;
  • Enlist the participation of humanities scholars or experts;
  • Be free and open to the public;
  • Occur between January 29 and July 1, 2016 or between April 15 and September 15, 2016.

Special consideration will be given to proposals from organizations with annual budgets of less than $1 million, projects that reach audiences in neighborhoods directly impacted by the unrest of April 2015, and projects that build on partnerships with community-based organizations.

For more details, including application guidelines, please read the full Request for Proposal. 


Application Dates and Deadlines

First Round

Application Opens:                November 9, 2015

Application Deadline:             December 7, 2015

Notification Date:                  December 30, 2015

Award Period:                       January 29 – July 1, 2016


How to Apply

  • Interested parties are required to contact the Maryland Humanities Council to discuss the proposed project before submitting an application.


Questions? Please contact:

Marilyn Hatza, Program Officer
Grants & Strategic Partnerships

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