Published June 20, 2024

Virginia Humanities, the state humanities council, announced an initiative today to create new regional humanities centers across the state.

Throughout the last five decades, Virginia Humanities has supported efforts to document, preserve, and amplify Virginia’s history, heritage, and cultural traditions. “Since our founding, our mission has been to support and bring the humanities to all Virginians,” said Virginia Humanities’ executive director Matthew Gibson. “We want all Virginians to feel connected to their local communities by better understanding the histories and cultures of the places where they live, work, and visit every day.”

In December 2024, Virginia Humanities will begin celebrating its 50th anniversary. To mark this anniversary, the new regional center initiative will support local, place-based humanities work, laying the groundwork for a future where Virginia Humanities can better reach and support Virginians and their storied experiences.

Each center will be headquartered within an existing regional organization, in either a cultural nonprofit, two-year, or four-year college. Virginia Humanities will provide expertise and funds for regranting to other local nonprofit organizations. In turn, each center will be able to support humanities programs and conversations about local topics their residents care about most.

Gibson says the centers are critical for the future of Virginia Humanities’ mission and to the future of centering the humanities in public life. “The humanities explore what it means to be human—how people have shaped the world through their actions, beliefs, and creativity over time,” said Gibson. “We’re excited about the new ways these centers will expand our work to honor the vibrant voices and cultures that define Virginia.”

The first centers will be announced in July with others to follow as Virginia Humanities celebrates its 50th anniversary through the end of 2025.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.