Cultural and Historical Support Grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) announced that it will be awarding just under $2 million in grants to qualified museums and official county historical societies under the Cultural and Historical Support program. The grant program uses funds placed in PHMC’s operating budget by the state legislature and is restricted for this purpose only. Working in concert with legislative leadership to determine the best way to distribute these limited funds, applicants must meet organizational eligibility requirements and awards are based on a calculation that uses the operating budget from the most recently completed fiscal year.


*    Museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person (or approved equivalent) and that are not supported by other state agency funding programs.
*    Official County Historical Societies. If the operating budget is less than $300,000, the organization must apply as an Official County Historical Society. Official County Historical Societies with operating budgets in excess of $300,000 must apply as a Museum.


*    Strengthen the Pennsylvania museum community
*    Provide general operating support to museum and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs
*    Provide financial support as unrestricted operating support to address primary needs of museums
*    Allow applicants to determine and describe how they will use funds
*    Keep application process fair and simple
*    Determine award amounts using an equation based on a percentage of the previous year’s operating budget
*    Achieve geographical balance in the distribution of grants

APPLICATION DEADLINE – February 9, 2018 (application system opens on January 2, 2018)

APPLICATION PROCESS – For FY 2017-2018, PHMC is using a new electronic application system.

PHMC is pleased to announce all PHMC grant program applications are transitioning to DCED’s Electronic Single Application for Assistance system. Your organization may need to register as a First Time User for a new User Name and Password. You can access the application system here on January 2, 2018.

Once you register and log on to the new system, the easiest way to begin a new PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grant application is to:

*    Create a Project Name such as “My PHMC museum support grant”
*    Select “YES” for “help selecting your program”
*    Click “Create a new application”
*    Select “PHMC” under the Agencies heading and click SEARCH
*    Click “Apply” next to the Cultural and Historical Support Grant program

Applicants are not required to mail a hard copy of the application and supporting documents.

For additional assistance with the Electronic Single Application for Assistance system, please contact DCED’s Customer Service at: 1 (866) 466-3972, or

Much more information is available at the PHMC’s website.

National Endowment for the Humanties Announce Public Humanities Project Grants

Public Humanities Projects grants support projects that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences. Projects must engage humanities scholarship to analyze significant themes in disciplines such as history, literature, ethics, and art history. NEH encourages projects that involve members of the public in collaboration with humanities scholars or that invite contributions from the community in the development and delivery of humanities programming.

This grant program supports a variety of forms of audience engagement. Applications should follow the parameters set out below for one of the following three formats:

  • Community Conversations:
    This format supports one- to two-year-long series of community-wide in-person public programs that are centered on one or more significant humanities resources, such as historic artifacts, artworks, literature, musical compositions, or films. These resources should be chosen to engage a diverse public audience. The programs must be anchored through perspectives drawn from humanities disciplines. Applicants must demonstrate prior experience conducting public dialogues.
  • Exhibitions:

    This format supports the creation of permanent exhibitions (on view for at least three years) and single-site temporary exhibitions (open to the public for a minimum of four to six months), as well as travelling exhibitions that will be available to public audiences in at least two venues in the United States (including the originating location).

  • Historic Places:

    This format supports long-term interpretive programs for historic sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions that are intended to be presented to the public for at least three years. Such programs might include living history presentations, guided tours, exhibitions, and public programs.

    NEH encourages projects that explore humanities ideas through multiple formats. Proposed projects may include complementary components: for example, a museum exhibition might be accompanied by a website, mobile app, or discussion programs.  Your application must identify one primary format for your project and follow the application instructions for that format.

Program Statistics

In its first two competitions the Public Humanities Projects program received an average of 101 applications per competition. The program made an average of sixteen awards per competition, for a funding ratio of 16 percent.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely from competition to competition, as can the funding ratio. Information about the average number of applications and awards in recent competitions is meant only to provide historical context for the current competition. Information on the number of applications and awards in individual competitions is available from


Contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Public Programs at 202-606-8269 or Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact NEH via Federal Relay (TTY users) at 800-877-8399.