Colorado Humanities, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was established in 1974 as a result of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, and the subsequent founding of the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH). We have forged hundreds of community partnerships and have created more than 90 unique initiatives in our 50-year history. We provide programs at no cost to participants and reach an estimated 340,000 people each year as program partners, participants, and audiences. The majority of our annual budget goes directly to programs, and we are grateful for the generous contributions from businesses, foundations, and individuals that make it possible.

What are the Humanities?

The humanities help us understand and define what it means to be human. They provide ongoing content for a fulfilling life on personal and societal levels. And, importantly, applied humanities learning provides essential method and skills-based approaches for personal and community-based problem solving, strength and resiliency, connectivity, resolution, and movement toward a just and robust future. History, literature, philosophy and ethics, jurisprudence, the history and criticism of the arts, comparative religion, languages and linguistics, cultural anthropology and archeology, and the social sciences are the humanities disciplines that tell the human story.

To fulfill our mission to inspire the exploration of ideas and appreciation of Colorado’s diverse cultural heritage, and to foster a love of reading and books, our objectives include forging community partnerships statewide to develop and implement meaningful programs that encourage community engagement.

We are one of the 56 humanities councils across the nation that receives core funding from NEH to promote humanities education through community-based programs. The state humanities councils, with connections to communities and organizations in every corner of our respective states, are essential for engaging millions of citizens in community and civic life across diverse populations in humanities learning.

The humanities are not a luxury; they are fundamental to the fabric of our country and its individual communities. A strong, vibrant democracy requires engaged citizens informed by the humanities.

Facing recent national and world-wide crises and an uncertain future, we have continued to grow and change, as our understanding of Coloradans’ needs has grown and changed. As part of our regular five-year assessment process, in 2017 we established our Blue Sky Green Field Team to evaluate program impact and assess the need for humanities programming across Colorado. Blue sky over a green field is an apt metaphor for Colorado Humanities. Grounded in the firm belief of the value of community- based humanities education for sustained social good, we recognize that the sky’s the limit when creative, inclusive, dynamic programming is concerned.

The COVID crisis has forced us all to look at our world in new ways, and find new paths. Colorado Humanities has taken steps to develop online programming to continue reaching communities statewide despite social-distancing requirements. The need to turn to digital programming has opened new possibilities for us, and we believe it will become an important addition to our in-person program implementation in the future. During Spring 2020, we held Colorado Book Awards finalist readings and the awards celebration online, and you can still enjoy them as recordings through this website. We also provided our Motheread/Fatheread Colorado training institute online in June 2020, and are prepared to develop online MFC classes for parents. In October, we completed our 2020 Colorado Veterans Writing workshops online, and held an online panel discussion for our Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity program. We also awarded 68 grants totaling nearly $500,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For years we have offered programs that encourage learning about Black, Latino, and Native history, along with efforts to foster and facilitate difficult, critical community conversations about race. But we can and must do more. We are always looking for ways to make our programs more relevant, more accessible, more inclusive, and more effective, and we are redoubling our efforts now. Above all, we urge all Coloradans to join in the self-education, contemplation, and conversation that this moment demands.

Non-Discrimination Policy
Colorado Humanities certifies that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination pertaining to personnel procedures, program development and activities, and grants distribution on the grounds of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, veteran status, disability status, marital status or any other status protected by law. Colorado Humanities practices strive to conform with the letter and spirit of federal, state, and local laws regarding nondiscrimination.






Colorado Humanities forges program partnerships statewide to improve education, strengthen cultural institutions and enrich community life. Your contribution makes you an important part of it.