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Marilyn Hatza, Director of Grants & Community Engagement
Camilla Sandoval, Program Coordinator, Grants & Community Engagement


Championing the humanities across a state as diverse as Maryland requires many contributors and much collaboration. That’s where our SHINE Grants program comes in: Strengthening the Humanities Investment in Nonprofits for Equity

Maryland Humanities’ grants program will now fund general operating support to humanities nonprofits in Maryland. We have been actively adjusting our grant practices over the past few years with a focus on equity and accessibility. Since 2020, we’ve had the opportunity to award $1.425 million in COVID-relief funds–all as general operating support grants. With SHINE, Maryland Humanities takes the next step in our grantmaking evolution and aims to lower barriers and provide funding in a more equitable way to organizations statewide. Thank you to the State of Maryland via the Maryland Historical Trust for providing the SHINE seed money and helping to invest in a healthier humanities landscape statewide.

Goals of Maryland Humanities’ SHINE Grants Program

  • Continue and expand general operating support funding, awarding $500,000 in grants.
  • Focus on small and mid‐size humanities, arts, cultural, and educational nonprofits that may not have staff capacity or resources to be competitive in fundraising.
  • Ensure a broad geographic reach, similar to what we were able to realize from our COVID‐relief grants, which funded organizations in all 23 of Maryland’s counties, plus Baltimore City.
  • Continue to refine lessons learned on how to evaluate applicants and distribute funds equitably, while ensuring accountability and responsible fiscal stewardship.
  • Convene annual cohorts of grantees in new networks of engagement and common purpose to amplify the state’s investment, strengthening both the organizations and communities.

Thinking about applying for a SHINE Grant?

  • “Funding from the Maryland Humanities to distribute our first publication allowed Wide Angle Youth Media to expand our reach and share youth voice in a way we have never done before. With your support, this project has not only been successful in programmatic outcomes, but has inspired and empowered young people, giving them the platform to become published artists and share their voices in our city and beyond.”

    Wide Angle Youth Media, Humanities Fund for Baltimore grantee, Baltimore City
  • “We have truly enjoyed every funding experience with Maryland Humanities – mostly because it feels like a collaborative relationship. The staff at (Maryland Humanities) is very helpful when preparing grant proposals and reports, and we love seeing (Maryland Humanities) administrators attending our performances and other programming.”

    Center Stage, Humanities Fund for Baltimore grantee, Baltimore City
  • “This Maryland Humanities grant is absolutely vital to the mission of our non-profit organization devoted to archaeological research and public education. Simply put, we could not have carried out our ambitious exhibit projects without this much-appreciated support. Maryland Humanities has enabled us to share meaningful stories and engage audiences in innovative and creative ways. The platform they have provided strengthens our organization and the community we serve. Thank you!”

    Lost Towns Project, Inc., Major Grant recipient, Anne Arundel County
  • “We had a great experience working with Maryland Humanities. Your team was very hands on, provided clear guidelines and seemed glad to assist us throughout our process. Thank you so much for the support we received to carry out our event and do much needed social justice work in our city.”

    New Lens, Humanities Fund for Baltimore grantee
  • “It is difficult to properly express our gratitude to Maryland Humanities for the help and support that we received through the grant-making process and through the project…The support of (Maryland Humanities) was not in funding alone. By including a spot about the initiative in (their) Humanities Connection program on WYPR, Maryland Humanities did much to help promote our initiative and alert the general public about the program that we were running in the early months of the fall.”

    Dr. Kimberly Coles ~ Chair, Education and Citizenship Project Committee, University of Maryland College Park
  • “Without support from Maryland Humanities, we never could have put together an exhibit and programming at this scale. This support allowed us to cover many more writers, artists and musicians in the exhibit than we otherwise could have done. It enabled us to offer at lease 50 percent more programming than we could have done on our own. The funds also enabled us to promote the exhibit and programs to a wider market. Furthermore, knowing there was a chance for this grant to be awarded, we felt able to apply for (even more) support from the local cultural arts board… We are enormously grateful.”

    Carol Allen, Director for the Library & Hays-Heighe House, Harford Community College, Major Grant recipient
  • “It is difficult to properly express our gratitude to Maryland Humanities for the help and support that we received through the grant-making process and through the project. The grant was crucial to the success of the project, and instrumental in bringing the poet (and 2016 MacArthur Fellow) Claudia Rankine to our campus. As the author of “Citizen: An America Lyric,” Rankine’s powerful reading and discussion of her work provided the anchor for our programming about public education and the role it plays in shaping the political citizen… (Maryland Humanities staff) were a constant source of encouragement and support–and we are proud to have been one of the projects that it recognized this year.”

    Dr. Kimberly Coles ~ Chair, Education and Citizenship Project Committee, University of Maryland College Park
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports bold experiences that explore and elevate our shared stories to connect people, enhance lives, and enrich communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
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