SDHC Unveils New Scholar Guidelines, Programming Priorities

Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis

The South Dakota Humanities Council Speakers Bureau is undergoing changes, including a new rolling deadline for scholar applications and new programming priorities.

Those interested in becoming a humanities scholar can now apply at any time during the year, with application cutoff annually on Aug. 1 for the upcoming fiscal year (SDHC's fiscal year is Nov. 1-Oct. 31). If applications are received after the Aug. 1 cutoff, they will be considered in the next cycle. Scholars must apply each year.

Current scholars who would like to reapply can request a copy of the previous year's application for easy transference of pertinent information. SDHC's Program Committee will review applications early in September.

New Programming: NEH Shares Fresh Guidelines

The National Endowment for the Humanities has recently shared five pillars of new programming priorities. SDHC encourages scholar applicants to consider creating at least one program that addresses one of the pillars.

  1. Advancing Racial Equity – Advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the humanities
  2. Confronting the Climate Crisis – Confronting the catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis on the cultural sector through policies and programs that promote and build climate resilience and environmental sustainability, reduce climate pollution and/or embed environmental justice
  3. Restoring America's Global Standing– Restoring America's standing in the world through programs and engagements that champion the nation's excellence in the humanities to international audiences
  4. Responding to the COVID-19 & Economic Crises – Providing relief to cultural organizations grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis
  5. Strengthening Our Democracy – Strengthening Americans' knowledge of and commitment to the country's principles of constitutional governance and democracy

Speakers Bureau: Bringing Humanities Programs to South Dakota Communities

SDHC's Speakers Bureau offers a depth of topics that groups across South Dakota can bring to their communities. SDHC supports nearly 150 Speakers Bureau events annually, across a range of humanities-related subjects. Through a simple application process, communities can host a visiting humanities specialist up to six times each year.

Each speaker offers at least one specialized program, and many speakers offer multiple programs. Some presentations are specific to the South Dakota and Northern Plains experiences, while others explore greater themes of society and the human experience.

In addition to Speakers Bureau presentations, humanities scholars can lead reading discussions through SDHC's Book Club to Go, One Book South Dakota and Young Readers One Book programs. Scholars and programs are listed on the SDHC website. (Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, SDHC's grant-sponsored programs are virtual-only. A small number of in-person gatherings requiring preapproval may be supported through application of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Please contact us at with questions).

Learn More

Interested in applying to be an SDHC scholar or hosting a program in your community? Click below for more information.