Increasing Access to the Humanities

Humanities Montana’s culture of philanthropy includes providing financial assistance to community organizations, scholars, and filmmakers creating new opportunities to engage with humanities programming in Montana. We champion the work of others to cultivate innovation in public humanities and reach new audiences.

In 2022, Humanities Montana awarded $123,324 to 35 organizations in support of 41 cultural projects. Organizations with projects completed in 2022 reported reaching an audience of over 650,000 with financial assistance from Humanities Montana’s grantmaking. And half (49%) of all grants awarded were to organizations located outside of Montana’s 7 metropolitan areas.

What our Support Looks like

Crow Level 2 Media Player Integration Project, Crow Language Consortium, Hardin, MT

The Crow Language Consortium is honored to receive grant funding from Humanities Montana this year. We work to support Apsáalooke (Crow) language learners and teachers by developing educational materials like textbooks, dictionaries, audio CDs, and digital applications. This generous funding will help us expand our Crow Media Player app to include more advanced material for students moving beyond the basics.” – Crow Language Consortium

We discovered themes of community and resilience amid the pandemic, a lethal virus that swept through Montana before vaccines were available. We believe this film will inspire discussion, not only of the fear and trauma that accompany an epidemic, but also of the ways people worked together to meet the challenge of a public health crisis. The six stories will highlight ethnic, gender, racial, and cultural diversity, expanding public perception of who makes history in Montana. We think these stories will invite viewers to reflect on our common humanity: When and how do we step outside our comfort zone to help a neighbor? To nurture a community? What is the role of storytelling in healing trauma? What fuels courage in trying times?” – Dee Gareau, Filmmaker

A Different, Deadly Beast: The 1918 Influenza in Montana, Missoula, MT

Native Filmmaker Initiative Programs: NFI Film Club and Native Voices Programming, Big Sky Film Institute, Missoula, MT

We’ve been able to inspire young Montanans across the state with stories of Indigenous excellence through the powerful medium of documentary, thanks to the ongoing support of organizations like Humanities Montana. HM makes work like this possible, encouraging our young people to be curious about the world around them and see filmmaking as a viable career. Over the last six years, our Native Filmmaker Initiative Film Club has grown from an average of 1,200 to well over 3,000 educators and their students (and growing!) involved in our program. In the words of one our participating educators, ‘[Our favorite aspect of participating] is meeting the storyteller and having my students realize it’s not just a movie, but a person with a life before and after the events in the film.’” – Julia Sherman, Big Sky Film Institute

2022 Grants Awarded by Type