Illinois Humanities Council

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and by the NEH.
The IHC creates and funds numerous humanities activities throughout the state, including library discussions, seminars, lectures, performances, exhibitions, films, and written materials. Through these activities, the IHC serves as a catalyst in imaginative ventures which bring scholarship into the public forum. All our programs utilize a broad definition of the humanities -- their topics can range from history and literature to philosophy, folklore, historic preservation, archaeology, jurisprudence or comparative religion -- but all are committed to providing lifelong learning. The IHC has been at the crossroads of ideas, energizing cultural and civic life in Illinois for more than 35 years.
Our programs and community grants offer Illinoisans the opportunity to experience the humanities through a rich variety of formats. From small discussion groups in neighborhood coffee shops, to lectures and performances at cultural venues, to reading and reflection seminars in hospitals across the state, IHC programs broaden public involvement in civic dialogue, deepen the quality of community conversation and reflection, increase public access to the humanities by lowering barriers to participation, and bring humanities activities to unexpected places.

Community Grants Program
The Illinois Humanities Council gives Community Grant support to Illinois nonprofit organizations to develop public humanities programs for Illinois audiences and to provide technical assistance or general support to help accomplish their core humanities missions.
The Public Square
The Public Square fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice.
Museum on Main Street (MoMS)
MoMS serves rural communities by circulating first-rate traveling Smithsonian exhibitions that focus on broad and engaging topics of American culture. The IHC assists local organizations in developing exhibitions, public programs, partnerships with other local and regional agencies, and providing technical support and assistance to the organization.

  • AddressSuite 1400, 17 North State St., Chicago, IL 60602-3296
  • Phone: (312) 422-5580
  • EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Web: www.prairie.org
  • ContactsKay Rippelmeyer-Tippy, Program Liason for Southern Illinois, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
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    Ryan Lewis, Senior Program Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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