Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants

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


Zoar Garden in Spring (detail), Andy Donaldson Photography

Ohio is filled with significant heritage sites and remarkable natural resources. The humanities help draw attention to Ohio’s tourism assets by showing why they’re significant, offering compelling stories, and creating vital visitor experiences. Most importantly, quality humanities content can make Ohio cultural heritage assets relevant and distinguish them in the tourism landscape. Visitors make decisions on where to travel based on how they connect with the story the place tells. Ohio Humanities’ Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants are designed to help you share that story with the widest possible audience.

Using Ohio Humanities Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants, organizations have developed exhibits, walking and driving tours, digital maps, and immersive historical experiences.

Quality cultural heritage tourism is a learning opportunity for travelers and local residents alike, with content informed by humanities scholarship. To see examples of humanities-rich cultural heritage content, visit

Cultural heritage tourism enhances community life and supports local economic development. Successful proposals are shaped by an inclusive planning process that brings all relevant local stakeholders together.

            • Planning grants (max $2,000, aligns with Monthly Grants)
            • Implementation grants (max $7,500, aligns with Quarterly Grants; max $20,000, aligns with Major Grants)

Grant Application Process:

Step 1: Determine if your project is eligible for an Ohio Humanities grant and review general guidelines. To download a complete set of guidelines, plus application instructions, click here

Step 2: Contact your Ohio Humanities Program Officer to discuss the viability of your project and receive further information about the process. Ohio Humanities staff is able to provide extensive assistance to applicants.

David Merkowitz, PhD,

1-800-293-9774 / 614-461-7802

Step 3: Align proposal to a suitable grant line (Monthly, Quarterly, or Major).

Step 4: Apply for a grant!

Cultural Heritage Tourism Grants Webinar

Resource: Sample Cultural Heritage Tourism Planning Grant narrative


Frank Lloyd Wright, Westcott House, Springfield, Ohio. Courtesy of the Herman J. Albrecht Library of Historical Architecture, Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, The Ohio State University Libraries.


Special Note on 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 which include multiple cultural assets wherever possible. Planning Grants are designed to help solidify working relationships between stakeholders and institutions and envision and prepare for larger projects. 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:
      • Market research by 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.
      • A presentation by a humanities scholar about the history of travel and tourism relevant to the larger project goals.


For inspiration about Ohio’s rich and diverse cultural heritage see the two travel issues of Ohio Humanities’ award-winning magazine, Pathways.

Pathways, Spring 2018

Pathways, Spring 2019

Before beginning the application process, contact a Program Officer:

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.