Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants

The humanities enhance the tourist experience by highlighting the culture, exploring the history, and fostering the appreciation of local assets.

Ohio is filled with significant historic sites and remarkable natural resources. The humanities help draw attention to Ohio’s tourism assets by offering compelling stories and creating vital visitor experiences. Most importantly, quality humanities content can make Ohio cultural assets relevant and distinguish them in the tourism landscape. Visitors make decisions on where to travel for reasons beyond a location’s cultural and natural assets. A place that tells its story well creates a captivated audience, and the invitation to enter the stories of a place should happen even before visitors arrive.

For the complete set of guidelines, plus application instructions, click here. 

Ohio Humanities – Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants

  • Planning Grants (max $2,000)
    • First Business Day of the month 8 weeks before the start of funded activities
  • Implementation Grants (max $20,000)

When humanities perspective is integrated from a project’s inception, this provides coherence throughout the planning, implementation, and later evolutions of a cultural and heritage tourism initiative. Using Ohio Humanities grants, local community organizations have developed exhibits, walking and driving tours, digital tools, and lively historical experiences.

Ohio Humanities seeks to fund:

Projects that focus on tourism as a learning opportunity for travelers and local residents, enhance community life, and support local economic development.

Projects must include:

  • Content informed by humanities scholarship.
  • An inclusive planning process that bring all local stakeholders together.
  • Local Investment: By the completion of the project, the grantee should be able to match one dollar of Ohio Humanities funding with one dollar of gifts and cash. In-kind match is welcomed, but will have limited use for grant disbursement purposes.

Grant Application Process:

Step 1: Review the Ohio Humanities guidelines. Contact your Ohio Humanities Program Officer to discuss the viability of your project and to receive further information about the process. Ohio Humanities staff is able to provide extensive assistance to applicants.
We can be reached at: 1-800-293-9774 / 614-461-7802

Rob Colby, PhD, Program Officer, rcolby@ohiohumanities.org

David J. Merkowitz, PhD, Assistant Director, dmerkowitz@ohiohumanities.org

Step 2: Is your project eligible for an Ohio Humanities grant?
Consult the Ohio Humanities guidelines for further detail about each question.
 Question 1: Does your project have a humanities focus?
 Question 2: Does your project make use of a humanities professional?
 Question 3: Does your project have public benefit?
 Question 4: Does your project present a balanced viewpoint?
 Question 5: Do you represent or is your project sponsored by a non-profit organization?
 Question 6: Does your organization have an open grant with Ohio Humanities?

Step 3: Align the project status to the proper grantline (Planning or Implementation).

  • Planning Grants (max $2,000): To support the early-stage and planning activities that help communities create valuable heritage tourism initiatives.
    • Ohio Humanities prioritizes heritage tourism projects with strong collaborative relationships and which include multiple cultural assets wherever possible. Planning Grants are designed to help solidify working relationships between stakeholders and institutions. Planning Grants are designed to envision and prepare for a larger project. In keeping with the nature of the planning process, goals may be exploratory or strategic.
    • Planning Grant activities should include:
      • Convening local and regional stakeholders to envision and assess the potential project.
      • The active participation of humanities scholars.
    • Other planning activities may include:
      • A presentation by a humanities scholar about the history of travel and tourism relevant to the larger project goals.
      • Market research: Engaging a professional tourism consultant to help identify marketable stories and assets and to assess project viability and future budgets (for a maximum of 25% of OH funds).
      • Fostering community conversations about heritage tourism, including its community impact and economic potential.
      • Conducting oral histories to gather local stories about tourism assets.
      • Honoraria and per diem to bring regional stakeholders to the table.
      • Cost of renting meeting space.

For the complete set of guidelines, plus application instructions, click here

Before beginning the application process, contact a Program Officer:

For Quarterly, Monthly, and Heritage Tourism contact Robert Colby, PhD
rcolby@ohiohumanities.org

Or via phone at 800.293.9774 and 614.461.7802.

Already received an Ohio Humanities Grant? Visit the Funded Projects page for helpful tips and additional information.