What is the Missouri Humanities Council?

The Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) is committed to helping build a thoughtful, informed and engaged society through programs associated with encouraging family reading, supporting local museums, libraries, and other organizations promoting humanities education, facilitating the sharing of our stories, and generating public conversation on topics including history, religion, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, literature, law and languages. We help Missourians experience the connection between ideas and participatory democracy, and to expand understanding of our own culture as well as the world beyond our boundaries. Dedicated and creative people are the most important resources of our institutions and communities: the programs and experiences we support through grants and consultation services help unlock energies that will enrich our lives and contribute to a better appreciation of both our differences and what we hold in common.

MHC is a 501 ( c )( 3 ) non-profit organization that was created in 1971 under authorizing legislation from the U.S. Congress to serve as one of the 56 state and territorial humanities councils that are affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

See our 990 Form

Our Vision:

The Missouri Humanities Council helps Missourians understand ourselves, our democratic society, and the world, by encouraging the open exchange of ideas in community life.

Population and Missouri Communities Served by MHC:

The number of Missouri residents directly served by MHC programs and grants during fiscal year 2013 totaled 129,201 individuals. MHC programs and grants have gone to organizations and communities in 86 different Missouri counties and St. Louis City. Our goal is to expand that to provide programs and/or support projects in 100 percent of the state’s counties by 2015.

The Audiences We Serve

With the objective of creating and nurturing life-long learning in mind, MHC currently reaches out to a variety of audiences, including:

  • Families with children under age 5.  Through our family reading initiatives, MHC provides training for these adults in an effort to start their children on a path of reading and talking about books, and participating in storytelling.
  • Teachers, and elementary and secondary school students.  MHC partners with the National History Day-MO by providing funding and recognizing award-winning students at annual Governor’s Humanities Awards.  MHC grants support teachers’ workshops on issues such as world religions and the legacy of Mark Twain.
  • Rural Missourians. Through our traveling exhibits, MHC provides opportunities for people in living rural communities to interact with museum exhibitions and programming on a variety of humanities themes; our grants programs supports activities that connect humanities scholars with public audiences in smaller towns throughout the state.
  • Local museums and cultural organizations. MHC awards grants to support activities such as public programs, exhibits, living history and museum theater for local museums and historic sites.
  • General adult audiences. MHC provides learning opportunities for a wide variety of Missourians through its exhibit projects, its grants to locally-initiated programs, and its partnerships with other Missouri cultural and educational organizations.
  • Military personnel, veterans, and their families who can benefit from self expression through creative writing programs.
  • Communities that are interested in pursuing economic development opportunities through Heritage Tourism projects.