New Hampshire Humanities Council
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Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grants



Community Project Grants 2015


How can your organization use humanities ideas, skills, and experts to help NH people think about ideas that enrich and impact their lives, their communities,
the world?

Community Project Grants
offer direct support for creative public programs designed to explore the humanities in participatory and dynamic ways.
Think history, literature, philosophy. Archaeology, ethics, culture. Languages. Comparative religion. The history and interpretation of the arts, the sciences,
of just about anything.

We encourage applications from a broad range of nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire, including those that may not define their work as being based
in the humanities. We especially welcome inquiries for projects that will attract diverse audiences, engage minds, and stimulate meaningful community dialogue.

There are two project grant categories. All projects involve a project director, a humanities expert, and a tax exempt NH organization as grant applicant.
All provide live programming to a NH public audience. All are awarded on a competitive basis and require matching contributions from the applicant or others,
cash and in-kind.
  • Quick Grants offer up to $1,000 to support simple, single-event or short-series projects, and are available in as little as six weeks from submission
    deadline to first public event.

  • Quarterly Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded four times a year. They are the heart of the Council's grant making, enabling all kinds of tax exempt organizations to design and carry out multi-faceted projects from teacher professional development to large-scale "community reads" to lectures and discussions related to films, exhibits or performances.

Click here for a list of grants awarded in 2014.

Click here for a list of grants awarded in 2013.

Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grants


Quick Grants Up to $1,000
(If a grant deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date is extended to next business day.)


Application by

Notification by

Earliest Date of Public Event
September 10 October 1 November 1
November 12 December 1 January 1, 2016
January 10, 2016 February 1 March 1
March 10 April 1 May 1
May 10 June 1 July 1
July 10 August 1 September 1
September 10 October 1 November 1


Quarterly Grants Up to $10,000

(If a grant deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date is extended to next business day.)


Full Application by

Notification by Earliest Date of Public Event
October 1 November 1 Mid December February 1, 2016
January 9, 2016 February 1 Mid March May 1
April 1 May 1 Mid June August 1
July 15 August 1 Mid September November 1
October 1 November 1 Mid December February 1, 2017



Documents are in Microsoft Office 2007 Word and Excel.  If you are running earlier versions of Microsoft Office you may
need to download a Microsoft Compatibility Pack for Office Word, Excel and Powerpoint File Formats.
This will enable you to open “doc.x” documents. Still need help? Call us at 224-4071.

Useful information before you apply for a grant:

Community Project Grant Guidelines PDF
Budget Instructions PDF
Information on obtaining a DUNS number PDF
Audience Evaluation SAMPLE PDF
Role of Project Humanities Expert Word

Applying for a grant:

Quick Grant Application template Word
Quick Grant Budget Spreadsheet template Excel
Quick Grant Budget Notes template Word
Quarterly Grant Application template Word
Quarterly Grant Budget Spreadsheet template Excel
Quarterly Grant Budget Notes template Excel
Quarterly Grant Humanities Statement template Word


Administering a grant:


Community Project Grant Administration Checklist Word
Grant Payment Request Form PDF
Public Events Listing Form for NHHC Calendars Word
Grant Acknowledgement Language and Logo Guidelines PDF
NHHC Publicity Tip Sheet Word
Project Donation Record Word
Budget-to-Actual Expenditures Spreadsheet Excel
Event host talking points PDF



Questions? Contact NHHC Grants Officer Susan Hatem at or 603-224-4071.


Interested in grant-funded programming but don't want to design your own?
Check out Humanities to Go, our award-winning speakers bureau.




Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grants

Like other Community Project Grants, these are competitive, matching grants made to tax exempt organizations such as nonprofits or libraries.
Plan your series so that there will be time to find out whether your proposal has been funded and to obtain and distribute the books.


Applications for Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grants are considered in the same grant rounds as other Quick Grants.
See the chart of Quick Grant application deadlines above.

  1. General Community Project Grant deadlines and guidelines above apply to Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grants but download and use
    a. these Making Sense of the Civil War instructions
    b. the List of Making Sense of the Civil War Facilitators
    c. the Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grant Application, and
    d. the Making Sense of the Civil War Budget template.

  2. Budget: Your organization must match the amount requested with an equal or greater amount of cash and in-kind contributions to the project. The cash contribution must be at least 10% of the requested amount. The rest may be in cash or in-kind donations from the applicant organization or third parties.
    For example, if you request $1,000 to pay the facilitator's stipend for a four-part discussion series (4 x $250/session=$1,000), then the applicant organization must match it with at least $100 in cash and $900 in in-kind contributions toward other expenses such as the space, refreshments, publicity, and volunteer time. Note that the percentage of a paid staff member's salary representing the time dedicated to running the series may be counted as the applicant organization's cash contribution.

  3. Contact one of the Making Sense of the Civil War facilitators on our list for availability and discuss dates, times, venue, syllabus and stipend.

  4. There are two Making Sense of the Civil War book sets each containing 25 copies of the 3 titles in the series. Check on availability of a set by contacting
    Ruby Matott at the NH State Library 271-2144. Plan to have the books delivered to your local library at least three weeks in advance of the first session so that participants have time to pick the books up and read the selection(s).

  5. Fill out a Making Sense of the Civil War Quick Grant Application and Budget Spreadsheet and email them to Community Project Grants Director Susan Hatem.
    Because you will be choosing a facilitator/project humanities expert from the Making Sense of the Civil War list, you do not need to include your
    Making Sense of the Civil War facilitator's resume.

  6. You will hear within two weeks whether your organization has been awarded a grant. As soon as you are notified that your Quick Grant has been awarded,
    re-contact your facilitator and Ruby Matott at the NH State Library to confirm dates and book delivery. If your organization is not a NH library, be sure to discuss with your local library your desire to have the books delivered there. Make arrangements for pick-up, distribution and return of the books.

  7. You will receive a grant contract to sign and return before your check is issued. Follow the Community Project Grant Administration Checklist included with the contract.


Beyond Words: Conversations about language, inclusion, and disability


It's a single-digit Monday afternoon in February at the campus of the NH State offices in Concord. Eighteen men and women are gathered around a table laden with iPads, paper, and pastries. They are the staff of the state's Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS), and they're about to take a break from a meeting filled with the language of budgets, policies, and federal grants to engage in something very different. It's called civic reflection, a practice that allows people like the BDS staff to take a step back from their urgent agendas and "actionable items," and refresh their values, questions, and purpose in facilitated conversation, through lens of evocative short readings and images.

This conversation, one of four, is part of a pilot project funded by a grant from the Humanities Council that offers civic reflection to four groups who directly support people with disabilities in New Hampshire. The grant was awarded in November of 2014 to the Community Support Network, Inc. (CSNI), a New Hampshire not-for-profit organization that supports the 10 area agencies who provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury, and their families. The grant proposal was inspired by a recent video project directed by Linda Graham, the Bureau's Administrator of Child and Family Services. In early 2014, with the help of CSNI, nine New Hampshire families produced short, powerful films about living with a developmentally disabled family member. These nine stories provide a compelling collage of lives lived at the edges of mainstream consciousness, and raise important questions about inclusion, communication, and difference.

Keep those questions alive, broaden their reach — the energy of those imperatives spawned the pilot program known as Beyond Words: Conversations about language, inclusion, and disability. This program helps participants step back from their ordinary tasks to ask new questions, open new paths of communication among colleagues, and reframe complex issues surrounding disability and society. The questions and insights these groups articulate are providing a good foundation for broadening the project into wider civic life, and engaging the public more meaningfully.

Beyond Words began in mid-January, appropriately, with People First, New Hampshire's self-advocacy group. With a wide range of ages, this adult group includes people with many kinds and degrees of disabilities: intellectual, cognitive, developmental, genetic, and acquired. As a large selection of laminated images were passed around, each of the twenty participants chose a picture that would support a conversation about their experience with the words "helping," "serving," and "fixing." Each of those words represents fundamental ways we have of relating to each other, perhaps with even more salient meaning for those receiving social services. Holding up their image for all to see, participants talked about their sense of independence, competence, strength and achievement, along with their frustration, longing, or grief. The morning offered insight into how they see their own place in society as they advocate for inclusion, understanding, and voice.

A few days later, a group of state Family Support Directors continued the conversation at Community Bridges in Concord. These professionals devoted an hour of a busy day to reflecting on the implications of "An Unanswered Question" by Lisel Mueller, a poem that evokes important questions about understanding, empathy, and communication. It draws on the real life of the world's last speaker of the Aboriginal language in Tasmania, and leaves us wondering, "What one word would we not be willing to let die," and with whom would we entrust that word, if we were the last person on earth to speak our native tongue? In the words of the text, what if you are the "one thoughtful face" who understands a person instinctively, perhaps because you have a long history of service with an individual? How do you know the limits of your ability to help or serve? And, when have you done enough? While families are usually the source and keeper of an individual's history, clients who lack those roots often depend on service directors and providers for that role. Several participants told stories about clients they had served from early childhood to young adulthood, and the accountability they feel toward them, the depth of knowledge and instinctual understanding of their capacities, communication, and needs. "We are often the keepers," one participant said.

In the short span of an hour, this group gathered around a conviction that they remain steadfast in their service, even in the face of great change — in technology, policy, laws, cultural shifts, and perceptions that profoundly affect their clients. They say they want the conversations to continue, in part to keep asking, "What is it, in the face of such great change, that keeps us staying present to that one person or family in front of us?"

Several weeks and snowstorms later, the conversation with Bureau staff began with images.The facilitator passed around a variety of laminated pictures, asking each person to "think of a person with a disability, someone you know. Find an image that reflects something important about that person." Picture in hand, the participants then read Howard Nemerov's poem "Learning the Trees" aloud around the room, underlining words or phrases that make them pause or puzzle. At the heart of this poem, ostensibly about trees, are big questions about language, learning, and perception, questions this group immediately recognizes as essential to their work and service: Does the specialized language of human service shape our perception of individuals? That is, how does the "chaos of experience" speak to the categories, acronyms, and "insider" language of the work? Can we learn to listen to and understand the unique and untranslatable language of individuals with disabilities? What is it like to navigate the boundaries of knowledge and uncertainty in this work? What is the value of silence? How do we describe an indescribable experience with an individual, one that's beyond words? For an hour, Bureau staff pointed to phrases in the poem and to features of their chosen image, wondered aloud with each other, and moved the conversation to stories, questions, and thoughts that might otherwise not be shared. Linda Graham's opening reading, from the book Trust the Process, set the tone of trust, and these colleagues willingly dove into the process. The fourth conversation of this project takes place this month with members of the Family Support Council, drawing from all ten regions of the state.

The New Hampshire Humanities Council, the Community Support Network, Inc., People First, and many who support people with disabilities are looking forward to more conversations that will deepen, expand and engage participants across the state. Discussion is already underway about expanding this project to include the wider public.

Reflecting together, we can learn to navigate the edges of experience that mark the lives of people with disabilities, and talk with civility and honesty about language, difference, and inclusion.

Emily Archer is an independent scholar who designs and facilitates progrms, conducts trainings, and provides evaluation for a wide array of programs in the public humanities. She is a civic reflection facilitator, a writing workshop leader and vigil team member at Home Health and Hospice Care and a docent and archives assistant at the Currier Musuem of Art. She earned her PhD in English at Georgia State University.

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(603) 224-4071

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