Our Story

Our Mission

Humanities Montana serves 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

Our Impact

Locations we have been active in

CARES Grants


  • 95 CARES Grants have been awarded
  • $400,000 awarded

Helping Montana’s Cultural Institutions Thrive


of Montana’s cultural organizations surveyed said that the COVID-19 outbreak threatened to close their facility.

Since May, Humanities Montana has awarded $323,680 in emergency grants to 70 cultural institutions across the state, allowing many to pay operational costs, retain employees, and continue programming. These funds were supported by Congress and provided through the CARES Act to maintain cultural institutions.
* Data gathered from an independent survey administered by Humanities Montana in April 2020.

Encouraging Community During Isolation

During the third week of shelter-in-place guidelines…


of Americans surveyed reported feeling “socially isolated” much of the time.

Starting in March 2020, we have delivered DIY humanities newsletters to 5,097 people weekly across the state, encouraging Montanans to maintain connections through stories, prompts, and online programs.

Reaching Rural Montana


of Montana’s population is living in rural communities and facing geographic isolation.

In 2019, 66% of Montana Conversations took place in rural communities, encouraging community cohesion through workshops and conversations on topics including current affairs, untold histories, Native cultures, and literature.

We have produced 22 online programs in response to Montana’s Stay at Home Directive. Montanans connected with one another from their homes while experts led conversations on topics like current affairs, untold histories, native cultures, literature, and more.

Free Programs for Montana Educators

In 2019


of our Speakers in the Schools programs were in Title I schools. 21% of those programs were in Title I schools that received comprehensive assistance. Our goal is to increase availability of free programming in these schools.

These free programs bring civics, journalism, history, literature, and other humanities to Montana K-12 curricula and are available to any educator in the state. Speakers in the Schools reached 770 tribal nation students in 2019.

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 47 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.