Program Description

Announcing New Community Grants Category: Gen Ops. Application Deadline: September 15, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Learn More

We hope to work with our grantee partners to better understand where the public humanities are headed. It’s been said over and over that the old model was the professor at the lectern, speaking to a quiet public, and that the new model engages audiences and takes their expertise seriously. But what does this really look like? What are creative models for this more inspired version of the public humanities? How can we document the impact of high-quality and engaging programming? How can high-quality programming help build or strengthen community?

Illinois Humanities cares that public events are as inclusive as possible. Because of this, grant applicants may check a box to request up to an additional $250 to provide accessibility services (e.g., American Sign Language translation or Communication Access Realtime Translation, etc), as well as other resources such as providing transportation to and from events for those with limited mobility, etc. In the 5 years since this additional stipend was added, 46% of projects that were funded have included it.

Below are our grantmaking guidelines and more information to help guide you. Specifics on each grants category can be found in the section below. Please reach out for advice on the process or on a project you are considering. Simply email or call (312) 422-5586 for more information.

Note: As of the Sept. 15, 2020, Community Grants application cycle we are now using Foundant as a grants platform. We’ve made this switch because this dedicated platform includes features such as being able to start a process (such as filling out a Letter of Intent, or LOI) and being able to return to finish it later, plus other features such as being able to view your organization’s grants history with Illinois Humanities, etc. We hope you enjoy it! Please share feedback with us on what is and isn’t working well, by sending comments to

Si Ud. quiere más información en español, puede hablar con Mark Hallett: / (312) 422-5586.

Vision, Action, and Multiplier (VAMs) Grants Information & Guidelines

The next deadline for these project based grants is January 16, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

Gen Ops Grants Information & Guidelines


We want you to know about an exciting development in the grants offerings here at Illinois Humanities: We are now offering Gen Ops (aka general operating, or unrestricted) grants, as part of our Community Grants program. This is part of our ongoing effort to cater better to the needs of our grantee-partners.

Illinois Humanities is committed to serving all geographic areas within the state of Illinois; hence approximately half of the money will go to Cook County-based organizations, and half to organizations located outside of Cook County. (No non-Illinois addresses will be funded in this round.)

To apply for a 2022 IH Community Grants “Gen Ops” grant, fill out a grant application on behalf of your organization before September 15, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. (no exceptions). In the application form itself you’ll be asked if your organization is based in Cook County or outside Cook County.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Mark Hallett at

Please download and share this informational flyer with organizations that may be interested!

More Information