Project Planning

Connecticut Humanities Fund Public Presentation Grants support projects that help us understand and appreciate human history, culture, values, and beliefs. They allow us to analyze our complex society and to make thoughtful, reasoned decisions based on inquiry, evaluation, and empathy.

The Public Presentation grant lines support projects from planning through implementation and the flexible funding range allows organizations to develop projects of all sizes. There are separate application forms and requirements for Planning Grants and Implementation Grants.

Only one (1) Public Presentation Planning or Implementation Grant can be open at a time.

All Planning Grant proposals must demonstrate significant humanities scholarship and content and articulate clearly defined goals that will be achieved during the project.

Planning Grants, from $5,000 to $25,000, may be awarded to develop exhibitions, public programs, and interpretive digital media projects.

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Application deadlines (the first Friday of November and April):

November 2, 2018
April 5, 2019

Award decision: The first workday of February (for November grants) and July (for April grants).

Applications must be submitted using Connecticut Humanities’ online grant portal.

Click here to view the Planning Grants program grant guidelines.

Before applying, organizations must contact CTH staff member Scott Wands at to discuss your project idea. We are eager to help you submit a strong application and are available to review draft applications received at least two weeks before the grant deadline. Applications submitted without prior communication with CTH staff will not be considered.

Recent Project Planning Grants Awarded for FY2018 include:

Artspace (New Haven), $12,075: “Paying Homage: Soil & Site”- Artspace is planning for the creation of “Paying Homage: Soil & Site,” a cross-disciplinary initiative to highlight connections between social activism and ceramics. The project uses the work of contemporary potter Roberto Lugo (born in 1981 in Philadelphia to Puerto Rican immigrant parents) as a focal point for showing how clay can be a medium for discovering lesser-known cultural histories; for advancing scholarship at the intersection of craft, design, and environmentalism; and for examining societal divides across class, race, and religion. Artspace will develop exhibition support, youth curriculum, and symposium panel themes. 

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum (Norwalk), $20,000: “Planning for ‘Bulls of Wall Street: High Finance, Power, and Social Change in Victorian America’”- The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum receives support to plan their upcoming exhibition, the “Bulls of Wall Street: High Finance, Power, and Social Change in Victorian America.” The exhibit will look at the origins of an industry that contemporary America accepts as an institution, but which was new, controversial, and volatile in the nineteenth century: Wall Street finance. 

Naugatuck Historical Society, $20,000: “Town of Dreamers, City of Invention”- The Naugatuck Historical Society is creating a new, permanent exhibit on Naugatuck’s industrial history for display in their new home, the 1881 Tuttle House. Designed by the Waterbury-based architect Robert Wakeman Hill for Bronson and Mary Ann Tuttle, the Queen Anne-style landmark holds a central place in Naugatuck history. Bronson B. Tuttle  was co-founder in 1858 with John H. Whittemore of Tuttle & Whittemore (now, the Eastern Company), one of the first malleable-iron manufacturers in the United States. These two industrial magnates, lifelong business partners and friends, played pivotal roles in Naugatuck’s ascent to manufacturing greatness. The Tuttle and Whittemore families were also benefactors of the town’s impressive public building program and founders of progressive social institutions, including one of the first day-care facilities in Connecticut (which is still operating).  

Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford), $21,225: “History of Mental Health Care in Connecticut (tentative): The Connecticut Historical Society’s (CHS) exhibition will look at different methods of mental health diagnosis and treatment in Connecticut from the 1600s to the present day. The exhibit places the topic within the context of larger national trends to show how and why mental health care issues have been, and continue to be, at the center of political, economic, ethical, and social debates. CHS intends to show how this is not a linear story and will highlight the different methods of diagnosis and treatment that have been available at different points in time, against the backdrop of larger national trends and illustrated by smaller individual experiences.

Norwalk Historical Society, $23,000: “Planning for the exhibition “Norwalk’s Changing Communities before 1835”Norwalk Historical Society (NHS) received funding to continue its planning for a long-term exhibition in their Town House building. The exhibition will explore the stories of Norwalk from the end of the Ice Age through the rebuilding of the town after the battle and burning of Norwalk during the Revolutionary War. The exhibition will be the first long-term exhibition, other than the exterior interpretative signs, on the Mill Hill campus, and is part of a projected series of exhibitions, programs and events planned. Consultant Betsy Fox will work with NHS on this project.

Norwich Free Academy/ Slater Memorial Museum, $11,985: “Re-installation of Asian Art Collection”The Museum intends to use grant funding to plan the re-installation and re-interpretation of its diverse collection of Asian art. Objects in the collection range in date from the 5th century to the 20th century and include paintings, prints, ceramics, lacquers, and textiles. It is the appropriate moment to re-envision and re-install the collection of Asian art, with full accessibility and all other galleries re-interpreted. The Asian gallery will be re-installed with a focus on objects that demonstrate the cross-cultural exchange that fueled artistic and cultural developments in East Asia. They will engage an expert in Asian art and history, Dr. Yan Geng, to develop the preliminary themes and object list. Focus groups of invested community members will further explore how to meet our audiences’ needs.

NSCDA-CT/ Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum (Wethersfield), $25,000: “Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum/NSCDA-CT New Interpretation and Orientation Exhibit, Gallery, and Video”The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum (WDS) in Wethersfield (one of Connecticut’s first settlements) received $25,000 for a Planning Grant to help formulate a new exhibition and orientation program to be a highlight of their new Education and Visitor Center. Funding will go to help WDS develop an exhibition showcasing some of their archaeology finds, an expanded new interpretive panel of the Webb Family and property, a transformation of the Executive Director’s office into a permanent American Revolution gallery, and a short video about the histories of the WDS Museum and the NSCDA-CT. WDS is working with archaeologists Sarah Sportman, Ross Harper and Mary Harper, among others.

Total Project Planning Grants Awarded = $153,285.


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