Our Vision is a New Jersey that delights in diversity, appreciates that there are no easy answers, and finds joy and understanding in the humanities. We do this by enabling public programs and humanities experiences that deepen our understanding of ourselves and our world.
Our longstanding Incubation and Action Grants allow us to serve hundreds of organizations across the state by providing opportunities to innovate or implement public humanities programs.
Throughout the pandemic, NJCH has helped encourage the recovery and resilience of New Jersey’s cultural sector by awarding CARES and ARP funding to organizations around the state. This funding, which was allocated through the NEH, was made available in two categories—General Operational Support and Program Support.
In 2020, NJCH awarded over $660,000 to 84 organizations as part of its CARES Act COVID relief grants program. Through that funding, we:
- Connected 1,230,913 New Jerseyans through virtual convenings
- Saved 120 jobs
- Reached 165,120 people with in-person programs
In 2021, as the pandemic continued, NJCH provided $1,003,297 in American Rescue Plan relief funding to 96 organizations.
As a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, we ensure that public humanities programming is available statewide. NJCH is present in every Congressional District in New Jersey. Impact reports, detailing partnerships and programs, are provided to Congressional delegates annually.
Convening & Cultivating Partners
NJCH fosters collaboration and resource sharing among individuals and organizations that are invested in the future of the public humanities. Here are some of the ways we're bringing people around New Jersey together:
Building an equitable future starts with examining untold stories from the past. Our Community History program teaches community organizations to document, preserve, and share their own histories and then provides seed funding for pilot projects. Since the program was founded in 2021, 14 organizations have worked to create a wide range of public history projects, from interactive digital history projects to community conversations to oral history collections.
In 2020, NJCH kicked off a five-year initiative dedicated to exploring and understanding American democracy. Our efforts to encourage ordinary New Jerseyans to study democracy’s past and to take part in local and national governance will continue through the semiquincentennial in 2026. Our current work in this area includes:
- Partnering with 6 different community colleges around the state to host the Smithsonian’s Voices and Votes: Democracy in America exhibit
- Training 21 “community scribes” from towns across South Jersey in grassroots storytelling as part of our Democracy and the Informed Citizen program, in partnership with Journalism + Design at The New School and the Community Foundation of South Jersey
- Fostering democracy-related public humanities programming with dozens of partners around the state through our Women’s Suffrage and Beyond and Democracy Conversation Project award programs
- Creating the Democracy Conversation Project Storybox, which gives individual New Jerseyans a chance to share their reflections on democracy and see what their fellow citizens are thinking and saying