Our Impact

Our Mission

Humanities Montana serves Montana’s multicultural communities through stories and conversation. We offer experiences that nurture imagination and ideas by speaking to Montanans’ diverse history, literature, and philosophy.

Land Acknowledgement
Humanities Montana acknowledges that we are in the homelands of Indigenous people. We offer our respect for their history and culture, and for the path they have always shown us in caring for this place for generations to come.

Our Vision

To achieve our goal, Humanities Montana —

  • provides programs that tell our diverse stories
  • facilitates conversations about the most pressing issues
  • supports Montana’s cultural institutions through grants and partnerships
  • offers humanities such as history, literature, and philosophy to nurture memory, imagination, and ideas

Locations we have been active in

Montana Conversations


  • 64% of Montana Conversations programs took place in rural communities.
  • 37% of Montana Conversations programs took place in urban communities.
  • 7% of Montana Conversations programs occurred statewide for virtual audiences.
  • 2,484 Montanans attended a program.

Speakers in the Schools


  • 472 total Speakers in the Schools programs took place.
  • 5766 students were served.
  • 49% of Speakers in the Schools programs were in rural communities.
  • 15% of Speakers in the Schools programs were in tribal nation communities.



  • 55 grants awarded to local organizations
  • $168,449 awarded in support of community-driven humanities projects
  • Opportunity Grants Awarded $15,819
  • Research Fellowships Awarded $6,000
  • Regular Project Grants Awarded $100,630
  • Film & Video Grants Awarded $40,500
  • Big Sky Reads Stipends Awarded $5,500

Helping Montana’s Cultural Institutions Thrive


of Montana’s cultural organizations reported they risked closure due to the pandemic.*


of Montana’s cultural organizations reported that they were still experiencing partial or complete closure to in-person visitors in May 2021.*

* Data gathered from surveys administered by Humanities Montana in April 2020 and May 2021.

In 2020, Humanities Montana awarded nearly $420,000 in emergency CARES Act grants, helping 95 organizations retain employees, pay operational costs, and continue programming.

In 2021, Humanities Montana is awarding an additional $501,326 to aid the recovery of Montana’s cultural institutions.

Empowering Montana’s Youth Through Civic Projects


of likely voters believe civic education would have the most positive impact on strengthening American identity.*
* Source: CivXNow

At the federal level, approximately $50 per student per year is spent on STEM fields and approximately 5 cents per student per year on civics.*
* Source: Educating for American Democracy.

The Democracy Project is a teen-led program empowering young people to take action to improve their communities. Teens who want to make a difference work together to identify a problem, design a project, and find solutions. In 2021, this nonpartisan program is a partnership between Humanities Montana and libraries in Billings, Missoula, and Whitehall.

The Political Power of Montanans

Humanities Montana hosted 4 statewide virtual panels on the different kinds of political power Montanans have and how citizens engage in electoral and democratic processes. Voices from tribal communities, young people, and of residents of rural areas and urban centers met to discuss topics such as using protest and legislation to create government, voting issues, and the political divides in our state.*
* This program was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


of participants surveyed reported gaining a better appreciation of the impact of civic participation in their community*


of participants surveyed reported gaining a better understanding of the importance of the humanities in daily and civic life*

* Data gathered from a survey administered by Humanities Montana in April 2021.

Our Strategy

Strengthen communities, inspire ideas, and deepen mutual understanding.

Humanities Montana is Montana’s state humanities council. Established in 1972, we are one of fifty-six councils across the nation that the National Endowment for the Humanities created in order to better infuse the humanities directly and effectively into public life.

For over 50 years, Humanities Montana has helped strengthen communities through grants and special programs that reach into every corner of our state. We produce, fund, create, and support humanities-based projects and programs, eye-opening cultural experiences, and meaningful conversations. We connect people, inspire ideas, and deepen mutual understanding.