VHC Funds the Following Types of Projects
1. Programs for the Public
Like the humanities themselves, these programs may be multi-faceted. Examples of public programming include lecture series, museum programming, community projects, or programming meant to explain or augment the humanities content of an event. The Council prefers all events to be free and open to the public, but understands that, as one component of a larger event, admission may need to be charged.
Example: An ad hoc group of citizens in Essex wished to host a community-wide celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Sharing Our Stories. They applied to the Council for a small grant to help pay for a variety of community activities. The project was an unprecedented success and has begun a tradition in Essex that will continue for many years.
Example: The Barre Opera House requested funding to support a lecture/demonstration program in conjunction with a performance by the French Canadian group La Volee de Castors. The program focused on the history of the music and French Canadian culture. The goal was to appeal to a broader segment of the community than normally attends Opera House performances.
2. Educational Outreach
The Council supports efforts by schools and other organizations for curriculum development. Certain guidelines apply, however. School curriculum must be based on the Vermont Framework of Standards and must include a plan for distribution to other schools or regions or statewide. Proposals from museums or historic sites should address the problem of transporting students to and from their location.
Example: The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium received a grant to develop curricula for their exhibit Pathways to History. The exhibit, which paired historic Native American artifacts with those created by living artists, was a springboard to programs explaining the history and culture of Native Americans. In addition to hosting local school groups, the curriculum was made available to schools statewide through the museum’s website.
3. Teacher Enrichment
Organizations may apply for funds to support seminars or workshops for teachers who teach any grade level. The topic of these programs should be humanities-based and easily transferable to the classroom. Funds may be requested for the programs themselves, or for providing scholarships to Vermont teachers.
Example: Vermont Courage to Teach received a grant to support a professional development program for public school teachers and principals involving facilitated book and poetry discussions. The program focuses on the Why and Who of teaching rather than the What and How.
Applications in the following areas are encouraged during 2012:
- Projects related to the Civil War in honor of the 150th anniversary of the war
- American history and culture; founding values
- Civics; community building
- Collaboration with other Vermont nonprofit organizations
Grant applications will not be considered for:
- any project that does not have strong humanities content;
- for-profit organizations;
- retroactive funding;
- advocacy-based, biased, or politically charged projects;
- projects focused principally on literacy;
- projects that principally provide social/human services;
- musical/dramatic productions, visual art, or creative writing projects, i.e. the “making” or “doing” of art as opposed to the history, theory, and criticism of it;
- grants to fund salaries of organization staff members;
- research grants;
- projects that are not timely enough to include credit to the Council in publicity;
- classroom augmentation (such as supplemental classroom texts or guest speakers);
- school events that are not not open to the public;
- book publishing without programmatic component;
- any organization that has an open grant with the Council
Note to prior grantees: If your organization has received a grant from VHC in the past, please be sure you describe the success of the previous grant in your current proposal. Explain how the new project will build upon that success, and what efforts you have taken or will take to identify other sources of support. Applications for continuing/new support will only be considered when recipients have submitted a final report on the previous grant. Any one organization cannot have two open grants from VHC simultaneously.
Sample Rejected Projects
Image: Tramps, Hobos, and Transients at the Edge, an exploration of hobos in American history, literature, song, and popular culture was funded in part with a grant to the Main Street Museum in White River Junction. The illustration is from 1906 postcard from the Harvey-Muhly Postcard Compendium.