The program consists of opportunities for both guided learning and experimentation, culminating in a pilot project supported with up to $5,000 in funding from NJCH.
Learning & Project Work
- Cohort learning sessions (2 hours each) that include guest speakers, case studies of public humanities projects, and time to workshop project ideas.
- Individual meetings between participants and NJCH’s Director of Programs to collaborate on project development.
- Assignments that break down the project development process.
- At the end of the learning sessions, participants will create a plan and budget for their new project.
- Participants who wish to pilot their new project will be guaranteed funding up to $5,000, with final funding decisions made by the cohort themselves.
- Monthly (optional) lunchtime meet-up during the pilot project period for ongoing community support.
- Each organization selected for Humanities Lab receives an award of $500 to support the time they will spend on program work.
- At the conclusion of the learning sessions, each participating organization in the cohort may submit their new project proposal for additional funding up to $5,000 to pilot that work in the 6 months following the program.
- Participant organizations are not required to pilot their projects at this stage, but the funding is guaranteed if they wish to do so.
- Please note: this additional funding is only available at the time of the program. Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Lab cohort and awards finalized collectively.
Who is this program for?
Humanities Lab is a process-driven program for those who have either not begun or are very early in the process of developing a project. Participant organizations are required to attend all program activities and follow the Lab’s process for developing projects.
This is not a grant program. If your organization is working on an established idea or project, Humanities Lab is not the place for you. (But an NJCH grant might be!) Consider applying to the Humanities Lab if you:
- have an idea for a project but need time and support to develop it
- want to expand your programming or explore new ways of engaging with audiences
- have too many ideas and would benefit from a sounding board of cohort organizations and experts
- are not a humanities-missioned organization but think the public humanities would provide new outlet for your work.
- Nonprofit, state/local government, or unincorporated groups are eligible
- For-profit organizations and individuals unaffiliated with an eligible organization are not eligible
- Must be based in NJ or do majority of work in NJ
- Must commit to participating in all program activities
- Up to 3 organizational representatives can be selected, including paid staff, volunteers, or community members
- Current NJCH grantees or program participants must receive prior approval
Encouraged to Apply
- Small organizations with budgets less than $500,000.
- Organizations that prioritize the perspectives of traditionally marginalized people.* We invite you to explain the unique perspective of your community in your application.
- Non-humanities-missioned organizations, such as arts, social services, community or neighborhood groups, science or environmental, and cultural organizations.
- Organizations that have not received NJCH funding in the recent past.
*For example, but not limited to: organizations whose primary mission, intentions, and practices are by, for, and about the art, culture, and histories of people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, recent immigrants, etc.
If you’re not sure if Humanities Lab is right for you or you have questions that you’d like to talk through before applying, get in touch. You can schedule a virtual meeting or email questions to Gigi Naglak, NJCH’s Director of Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timeline for 2023
- Application deadline: April 20
- Notification of decisions: May 12
- Onboarding meetings: May 15-26 (virtual, by signup)
- Cohort learning sessions: (mornings, 10-noon, TBD)
- June 8 or 10
- June 29 or 30
- July 20 or 21
- Individual project review meetings: July-August (virtual, by signup)
- Project plan and budget due: August 25
- Cohort meeting: September (in-person, TBD)
- Pilot Project Period: October 1, 2023-March 31, 2024
- Final reports due: June 30, 2024