Determining Eligibility

Ohio Humanities funds cultural programs with quality humanities content created by scholars, community history specialists, and cultural and heritage professionals that is made relevant to the general public. Humanities disciplines include: history, anthropology, folklore, archaeology, literature, languages, linguistics, philosophy, ethics, comparative religion, jurisprudence, historical and critical approaches to the arts, and aspects of the social sciences which use historical or philosophical approaches.

Review these questions to determine if your project is a good fit for Ohio Humanities funding. 

  • 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 a public benefit?
  • Question 4: Does your project present a balanced viewpoint?
  • Question 5. Will the project be carried out by a non-profit organization registered in Ohio?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these five questions, your project may be well-suited for an Ohio Humanities grant application. Review the General Guidelines for more information. The Planning Resources page has valuable material that can further assist you in aligning your project with Ohio Humanities funding guidelines. For questions about eligibility contact an Ohio Humanities program officer.


The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Interdisciplinary cultural programs frequently include artistic expression on the one hand, and social science practices on the other. As a funder, Ohio Humanities seeks to elevate humanities activities in the public sphere. The notes below are designed to help applicants effectively describe how and why the humanities are central to their proposed project, when the arts and/or social sciences are also involved.

A note on art-based versus humanities-based cultural programs:

Ohio Humanities does not fund the creation of works of art or creative performance.  Ohio Humanities does fund the humanities disciplines that concern themselves with the interpretation of art, music, theatre, material culture, and all other forms of human creativity. These disciplines include: art history, visual studies, art criticism, musicology, theatre history, and cultural anthropology.

We acknowledge some arts-based practices are important vehicles for conveying interpretive content. A photo-documentary project on community heritage, for example, or a spoken word performance based on oral histories can be effective humanities programs. If a proposed project includes a visual arts component or performance, determine if it is primarily the fruit of individual artistic expression, or a vehicle for sharing interpretive content. For questions, contact a program officer.

A note on social science methods and humanities-based cultural programs:

The social sciences and humanities share a blurred boundary. The humanities discipline of history was once considered a social science. Oral history is both a public humanities tool and an important social science method for gathering qualitative data. For all grant-funded programs, Ohio Humanities requires the perspectives and methods of humanities disciplines to be paramount. Where social sciences activities are present in a grant proposal, they should favor qualitative methods and support the overall creation and presentation of interpretive content. For questions, contact a program officer.


Before beginning the application process, contact a Program Officer:

For Major Grants, including Educator Enrichment, and Media Grants (both Planning and Production) contact David J. Merkowitz, PhD |

For Monthly and Quarterly Grants, including Educator Enrichment, and all Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants contact David Merkowitz, PhD |


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.