We create opportunities for the people of Massachusetts to transform their lives and build a more equitable commonwealth through the humanities.
We do this through grants, programs, and partnerships with nonprofits around the Bay State. Our work is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mass Cultural Council, and the generosity of our donors.
We support a thriving humanities ecosystem in Massachusetts. Humanities organizations and institutions serve towns and cities in every corner of the Commonwealth, creating free public events, innovative digital projects, and community conversations that bring people together to understand our shared lives and diverse traditions.
What are the Humanities?
The humanities are the cornerstones of our democracy, the tools by which we comprehend the past, forge new ideas, and express ourselves as participants in a free society. History, literature, and philosophy help us respond to essential questions: What is the right thing to do? What do I owe to my family, my community, my country? When we come together to address these questions, to learn and share our stories, we practice the public humanities.
Our Core Values
We believe the humanities include those studies and interpretive practices that illuminate our deepest concerns and reflect our individual and collective aspirations.
We believe the humanities offer us tools for making sense of our lives and making our way through the collective life we share.
We believe the people of Massachusetts can thrive only when the humanities are accessible to all residents.
We believe in promoting an equitable and inclusive society that recognizes all people’s perspectives, especially those who have been marginalized and underrepresented.
We believe the humanities must be part of decision-making at every level, from the street corner to the classroom to the town meeting and the state house.
We believe in opening routes of engagement and doing so with integrity and accountability.
We believe in being innovative, responsive co-creators and partners.
Our Strategic Plan
Our Strategic Plan establishes the organization’s values and goals as we approach our 50th anniversary in 2024. Responding to the ideas offered through extensive engagement with our stakeholders, the plan calls on Mass Humanities to implement seven key initiatives, with annual outcomes set for each of the three years. At this pivotal point in the evolution of our democracy, we believe the humanities, created by and for the people, can lay the groundwork for a better future.