The Mission of Humanities Iowa

To promote understanding and appreciation of the people, communities, culture, and stories of importance to Iowa and the nation.

What We Do

Humanities Iowa (HI) is committed to bringing the humanities to the public through grant making, publications, interactive programming and events. 

We provide grants and partnerships to other non-profit organizations that further the humanities in the state, and we conduct our own programs that support the humanities across Iowa. Each year we serve over 250,000 Iowans with programming and projects like our Speakers Bureau. We have a strong commitment to sharing and supporting the humanities with all Iowans, and to bringing the humanities to life.


How We Do What We Do


HI grants support humanities programs for the out-of-school adult public. Grants are awarded to not-for-profit organizations that serve the Iowa public.

There are two types of grants:

  • Major Grants are awarded twice annually, and range from $3,001 to $20,000.
  • Mini Grants are awarded throughout the year for amounts up to $3,000.

See our Grant Guidelines for full details.

Council Conducted Partnerships (CCP)

Council Conducted Partnerships are funding partnerships between Humanities Iowa and eligible non-profit organizations. A 1:1 cash match is required. Interested organizations may apply for varied amounts based on project scope and available 1:1 cash match. 

Public Programs

Public programs are separate from grant making and include programs that originate from HI and are managed by its staff or agents. These include:

The Iowa Poet Laureate
Speakers Bureau
Traveling Exhibits
Voices from the Prairie

For more information, visit our Partnerships and Public Programs page.

What are the Humanities

The humanities are our cultural and intellectual heritage–the sum of human experience, thought and expression. They give us knowledge of the past, insight about the present and wisdom for the future. They teach us about others and help us to know ourselves.

The humanities are also a group of disciplines that both mirror and interpret what human beings have believed, experienced, and celebrated in our time and throughout the centuries. As branches of learning, the humanities include history, literature, languages, philosophy, ethics, law and comparative religion.

The history, theory and criticism of the arts are also considered humanities topics. Social sciences that employ qualitative approaches, including cultural anthropology, archaeology, political science, international relations, and interdisciplinary areas such as folklore, women’s studies and American studies, are also fields in the humanities.

To learn more about what we do, check out this short video: