Founded in 1974, we are one of fifty-six humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. We believed then, as we do now, that for democracy to thrive the humanities must be a core component of public life.

For almost half a century we have worked with Virginians to live up to that idea. Thanks to dedicated public and private partnerships we have become one of the largest and most diversely funded of the state councils, reaching tens of millions of people through our wide range of programs.

We hope our work will deepen all of our thinking, connect our communities, and enrich our lives. Every year we provide students from all regions and backgrounds with opportunities to meet diverse authors and develop a love of reading. And we provide authors with opportunities to share their work and conduct research for new projects.

We facilitate conversations about the complex meanings of our history and heritage. We showcase and help preserve the Commonwealth’s diverse folklife traditions. And, of course, we share stories.

We want to share your stories too! We hope you’ll apply for a grant or fellowship, attend our annual book festival, listen to one of our radio programs or podcasts, or join us at an event near you.

We’re headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia but our work covers the Commonwealth. Here’s a complete list of all the things we do.