Humanities Reach Grows with Grants

From 2011 through 2015, the SDHC awarded $624,463 in grants to 200 projects in a five-year period, from 2011 through 2015. These projects reach across South Dakota, as noted in the illustration. Applications requesting more than $1,000 are due next on Monday, February 29. Requests for $1,000 and less are accepted on a rolling bases. Visit the GRANTS section for more info.  

Impact of SDHC grants is an unsung story


About 675,000 people in South Dakota have attended programs possible thanks to grant funding from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

Sherry DeBoer, executive director of the SDHC, called this the organization’s unsung story in an interview with Lori Walsh on SDPB Radio’s Dakota Midday on Monday, Dec. 28.

“These are facts that people probably don’t know, but I think it really is helping communities. It’s something that we’re really happy to be part of,” DeBoer said. She said the number of peopled reached a displays the extraordinary impact SDHC grants have on the community.

Since 2011, the SDHC has awarded nearly $500,000 through the major grants program to 200 organizations in communities across South Dakota. The grants support discussion events, research, and long-term projects that share the humanities.

DeBoer emphasized the organization’s priority to distribute grants to all corners of the state, so each unique community is represented.

“In our grant process we try to get the information widely distributed on what grants are available,” said DeBoer. “And we’ll offer incentives where we haven’t had a program in the last year.”

In November, the SDHC board selected seven humanities projects in South Dakota to receive $33,482 in major grants.

Of the recent grantees, DeBoer noted the SDSU Agriculture Heritage Museum’s project called FarmHer: South Dakota. The project will result in a traveling exhibit examining Native American women farmers. The exhibit, to debut in 2018, will explore the farmers’ roles in contemporary agriculture using oral history and photography.

DeBoer explains that the SDHC often selects a current issue or topic to focus on for the year, which influences the One Book South Dakota selection, one-stop programs like the Speakers Bureau, and other council programs.

For 2016, the council will focus on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize by featuring Prize-winning authors, including Jane Smiley, the author of the One Book South Dakota selection Some Luck. Smiley will speak in Brookings on Friday, Sept. 23 at the SDSU Performing Arts Center with the South Dakota Festival of Books.  

The council awards grants to organizations in South Dakota throughout the year. Requests for major grants are due next on Monday, February 29.