Our grant program is unique in Wisconsin. Every year, Wisconsin Humanities gives away $200,000 in seven rounds of Mini and Major grants. Programs can take many forms including exhibitions, performances, community discussions, guest speakers, workshops, oral history projects, panels, town halls, films, and more. What they all have in common is that the ideas come from you, people living and working in communities. The programs engage the public, encourage reflection and conversation, and help to build a more connected state.
Below are three examples of recently funded projects. You can find descriptions of all the projects funded in 2022 here. If you still want more ideas and inspiration, browse descriptions from earlier years. You'll find lots of creativity in format and topic.
Thinking of applying for a grant?
Whether you are writing your first grant application or you are an experienced grant writer, we've outlined four steps to get you started. And we are always here to answer questions and read drafts. Just be in touch!
Mini Grants Awarded in Brown, Columbia, and Milwaukee Counties
Friends of Lodi Public LIbrary have been awarded $2,000 for “Community-Wide Read 2023 of Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing." The book by Pete Davis was selected for the Lodi Public Library’s community-wide reading program to generate conversation about modern, digital technology and finding personal meaning in a world of possibility. A grant from Wisconsin Humanities supports the library’s third everybody-reads program designed in response to patron requests. The library will purchase 200 copies of the book and, in addition to discussion groups, will host two presentations by UW-Madison professors about the role of the individual in the community, and vice versa.
Green Bay Botanical Garden Inc. has been awarded $2,000 for “Bell Children's Garden Interpretive Sign Project. ” The signs will in the new Bell Children’s Garden, which opens in 2023. The garden encourages children to connect with nature through play and learning and will be a destination for school groups, childcare facilities, and families. The garden is located on tribal land of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and was also home to other native groups. The signs are being developed in consultation with enrolled members of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin to educate visitors about the native people of the state, what brought the Oneida to northwest Wisconsin, and the important tenants of land and water usage to the Oneida and other native people.
Renaissance Theaterworks has been awarded $2,000 for “Fran Bauer Young Critics Project.” Renaissance Theaterworks is a small professional theater company in Milwaukee founded by five women. It is the nation’s 2nd oldest theater dedicated to gender equity. They have a 152-seat accessible venue in a diverse Milwaukee neighborhood and prioritize cultivating BIPOC audiences through outreach, collaborations, and partnerships. A Wisconsin Humanities grant supports a six-month educational program designed to introduce high school and college-aged students to theater criticism and professional writing. Students will attend monthly workshops with local writers, reviewers, and artists to develop deeper understanding for the performing arts, the differences between personal opinion and insightful critique, and writing for different audiences. Participants will produce reviews of various performances throughout the greater Milwaukee area, in addition to Renaissance Theaterwork’s 2023 season plays. These reviews will be available to read on a blog at FranBauer.Blog and select alumni will be invited to continue writing critiques for the website.
Wisconsin Humanities grants support locally-initiated public humanities programs that promote reflection, dialogue, and civic participation. If you or your organization has never applied for a grant, or you just want some feedback on an idea you aren’t sure about, please contact us to discuss your idea. We may be able to help! It might be anything from helping to brainstorm an idea or connecting with a humanities expert.