Quick Grants

With awards up to $4,999, a streamlined application process, and only one month from application to award notification, Quick Grants continue to help organizations create small-scale humanities programs that have big impacts on their communities. Quick Grants can be used to expand or enrich a larger public presentation project or serve as a standalone exploration of a specific topic or theme.

Quick Grants can be used to fund:

  • Small exhibitions
  • Discussion-based public programs (lectures, symposia, community conversations, pre- or post-performance talkback sessions, author talks, film talks, etc.)
  • Local history tours
  • “One Book” community reading projects

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Application deadline: the first Friday of every month:

January 5, 2018
February 2, 2018
March 2, 2018
April 6, 2018
May 4, 2018
June 1, 2018

Award decision: the first workday of the following month

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

Click here to view the Quick Grants program grant guidelines.

Before applying, we strongly recommend contacting CTH staff, Scott Wands (swands@cthumanities.org), 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.

In FY2018, Connecticut Humanities awarded the following organizations in the Greater Hartford area Quick Grants for projects that illuminated the area’s history and heritage.

Connecticut Historical Society, $3000: “The Constitution of 1818: Debate and Dissent in the Land of Steady Habits” – A three-part lecture series will take place at CHS and at UCONN School of Law covering the creation of the constitution of 1818 from different legal & historical perspectives. Speakers, including Attorney Wesley Horton, Professor Mark Weston Janis, and Professor Richard Kay, will cover such topics as the transition from the 1662 Charter to the 1818 Constitution, the debates surrounding the constitution of 1818 and their relevance to modern CT politics, and the rise of religious toleration in the state.

American Clock & Watch Museum, $1,659: “Scandals & Scoundrels” -This exhibition (on display April – December 2018) will highlight tales from the dark side of the clock and watch Industries. The stories will explore the darker aspects of the industry – its crimes, criminals, and ethical lapses – told from the vantage point of the timepieces on display. Each tale will also provide glimpses into what life was like during various stages in our nation’s development, and contribute new information about American clock and watch making.

Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association, $1,000: “2018 Speaker Series” – The first in the series, “23 Years and Counting…The Restoration of the K28 Blimp Car” will feature Crew Chiefs George Diemer and Russ Magnuson discussing the lone remaining Blimp Car used to detect and destroy German submarines in WWII. The second lecture, “The History of Pratt & Whitney,” will be given by Mark P. Sullivan, former Communications Director for Pratt & Whitney. Mark will provide insight into one of the most iconic names in aviation, including background on Pratt & Whitney humble beginnings in a former cigar warehouse. “Maiden Flight – The Role of Katherine Wright” features Guilford author Henry Haskell. His grandfather’s second wife, Katherine Wright, was the sister of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Haskell will bring together the love and strife experienced by Katherine, her husband Henry Haskell, and brother Orville. Katherine was an integral member of the “Team” and without her intervention during some of the Brother’s toughest times, history may have taken a different turn.

Connecticut Storytelling Center, $2,000: “37th Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference” – Participants at the Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference will have the opportunity to hear, work with and learn from an ethnically and stylistically diverse group of top-notch professional storytellers. The three-day festival includes performances, hands-on intensive workshops and story sharing circles.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, $4,400: “Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era” – This exhibit which will be on display April through October 2018 to tell the story of the Civil War from the ethnic perspective of the Irish. Drawings, some never on display before, and journalism pieces will explore the differences that often take place from the original to what is published.

Litchfield Historical Society, $3,720: “By the Virtue of its Citizens: Educating a New Nation at Sarah Pierce’s Academy” – “By the Virtue of its Citizens” is an exhibition celebrating the 225th anniversary of Sarah Pierce’s Litchfield Female Academy, an important institution for female education that numbered over 3,000 graduates. The exhibit will run from April 14 to November 25, 2018 with a second season in 2019. The show covers all aspects of the school’s history, with specific focus on Pierce’s educational philosophy and the ways in which she helped to shape new opportunities and roles for women.

Russell Library Corporation, $4,720: “Celebrating Black History Month” – Programs highlighting Black History Month will educate library patrons of all ethnicities about the rich history of African Americans.  Successful programs will increase awareness of opportunities for ongoing partnerships between the Library and the African American community and increase patronage. Funding went to support for a musical performance, film showings and discussions, book discussions, and marketing materials for an art exhibition.

Shakesperience Productions,$3,140: “Waterbury Interactive: Our City, Our Neighborhoods” – This is an inter-generational project within Waterbury that engages participants of all ages to obtain oral histories and adapt them to be presented to the public in performances by casts comprised of young people and older adults and project leaders. These shows are toured to the general public where they live, learn, and recreate to create dialog and the further development of this history of the people and cultures of the Greater Waterbury area.


In FY2017, Connecticut Humanities, with support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, awarded the following organizations in the Greater Hartford area Quick Grants for projects that illuminated the area’s history and heritage.

Avon Historical Society, $2,487: “Moments in Avon’s History” – The historical society will construct exhibits in the form of a set of retractable, portable banners that tell Avon’s story. The exhibits will each feature a different aspect of Avon’s history through words and images. By placing the banners through town, over time Avon’s residents and visitors will be introduced to many aspects of the history of the town and the region. The initial schedule will cover two years, but the banners will be in use for many years.

Connecticut Historical Society, $3,000: “Sisu and Creativity: Finnish Cultural Heritage in Connecticut”—In Spring 2017, the CHS and the Finnish American Heritage Society of Canterbury presented an exhibit of Finnish history in Connecticut – their agricultural cooperatives; the built environment including farms, barns, and community halls; the saunas constructed by every family as a social gathering place; and artistic and musical traditions still practiced throughout the community – using art works, images and documents from the FAHS archives, one of the largest Finnish collections in the country.

Connecticut Public Affairs Network, $2,572: “Connecticut History Day Contests and Public Presentations”—Approximately 500 Connecticut History Day students in grades 6-12 presented their findings from months of historical research on a variety of humanities topics to hundreds of audience members at two public contests in April and May. The students have done research and analysis on topics from local, national and international history based on this year’s National History Day theme of Taking a Stand in History. This grant funded two historical performances for students and the general public presented prior to the Awards Ceremony at each contest.

Farmington Village Green and Library Association, $2,750: “People of Farmington’s Past” is an interactive exhibit and visitor experience composed of 12 first-person/actor, short- film interpretations in the Stanley-Whitman House Conklin History Gallery, via website interactivity, and for use during educational programming onsite and in schools. The films will be professionally researched, scripted, staged and produced. Costumes and educational interpretive content will reflect life in Farmington, CT during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, $1,530: “Foundations of Change: a program with Professor Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition”—Professor Manisha Sinha, Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut. Professor Sinha led a conversation on her book The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, describing how abolition redefined American democracy and human rights across the globe.

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, $2,200: “Back to the Old Neighborhoods: Jewish Hartford Bus Tour”—The Society’s Bus Tour was developed as a result of the publication of two volumes of memories of growing up in Hartford. The “Back to the Old Neighborhood” professionally-guided bus tour traces the path of daily life of the first Jewish settlers from the city to Hartford’s North End.

Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society, $3,000: “West Hartford A-Z” will be a traveling exhibit encompassing the history of West Hartford that will engage the Town’s diverse population of 60,000. A previous exhibit will be transformed into a more usable format. The result will include 100+ images and original artwork and three-dimensional objects from the museum’s collection.

The Mark Twain House and Museum, $2,385: “The Trouble Begins at 5:30 Lecture Series” offers free evening lectures by leading humanities scholars. The lectures address subjects related to Mark Twain, his work, his era, or issues that were important to him and are of continuing relevance today. The series featured four lectures discussing Twain’s role as a public intellectual; Twain and gothic literature; artifacts of his early international travels; and his relationship with the influential writer and editor William Dean Howells.

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, $3,000: “Morgan: Mind of the Collector Experimentation Gallery & Mobile Tour”—A major new exhibit Morgan: Mind of the Collector celebrates the centennial anniversary of J.P. Morgan’s donation of 1,350+ objects to the museum.  The exhibit explores the history of Morgan’s collecting and travel during the Gilded Age.  The experimentation gallery will provide visitors opportunities to engage with exhibition themes in greater depth.

Wethersfield Historical Society, $2,975: “Here We Stand: Native History and Culture from Pyquag to Wethersfield and Beyond”—This project is an engagement point between the local community and indigenous communities in light of the 380th anniversary of the Pequot War.  This 4-part project, spanning over 500 years of interaction, utilizes the expertise of Dr. Kevin McBride, Director of Research at the Pequot Museum, native performer and lecturer Annawon Weeden, as well as native chef Sherry Pocknett to discuss traditional issues as well as those faced today by indigenous groups living with the legacy of colonialism.

Windsor Historical Society, $3,000: “The Changing Face of War:  Windsor Responds to World War I”—Windsor Historical Society plans an exhibition and four programs centered upon the town’s response to the Great War. Six recently-donated WWI–era naval recruitment posters provide the framework for display of the Society’s rich collections of wartime correspondence, gear, and records of community service organizations.


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