Encourages all Ohioans to explore the human story, to use history, philosophy, and the other humanities as the means to arrive at new insights.
Is an independent, nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and private contributions. The OHC awards grants and presents its own cultural programs across the state.
What Are the Humanities?
In its definition of the humanities, Congress includes: Archaeology, Comparative Religion, Ethics, History, Languages & Linguistics, Literature, Jurisprudence, Philosophy, the History, Theory, and Criticism of the Arts, and certain aspects of the Social Sciences which use historical or philosophical approaches. As fields of study, the humanities emphasize analysis and exchange of ideas rather than the creative expression of the arts or the quantitative explanation of the sciences.
The humanities are the stories, the ideas, and the words that help us make sense of our lives and our world. The humanities introduce us to people we have never met, places we have never visited, and ideas that may have never crossed our minds. By showing how others have lived and thought about life, the humanities help us decide what is important in our own lives and what we can do to make them better. By connecting us with other people, they point the way to answers about what is right or wrong, or what is true to our heritage and our history. The humanities help us address the challenges we face together in our families, our communities, and as a nation.
History, Anthropology, and Archaeology study human social, political, and cultural development.
Literature, Languages, and Linguistics explore how we communicate with each other, and how our ideas and thoughts on the human experience are expressed and interpreted.
Philosophy, Ethics, and Comparative Religion consider ideas about the meaning of life and the reasons for our thoughts and actions.
Jurisprudence examines the values and principles which inform our laws.
Historical, Critical, and Theoretical Approaches to the Arts reflect upon and analyze the creative process.
The humanities should not be confused with “humanism,” a specific philosophical belief, nor with “humanitarianism,” the concern for charitable works and social reform.
What is Ohio Humanities?
Ohio Humanities, established in 1972, is a 501(c)(3) organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and private contributions. Ohio Humanities aims “to increase Ohioans’ appreciation and understanding of the humanities” through the Council’s grantmaking capacity and through programs developed by the Council itself. Based in Columbus but operating statewide, the Council provides assistance to grant applicants, oversees Council-developed programs, and promotes the humanities in Ohio through collaborations with cultural and educational institutions. The Council is governed by a volunteer board which makes decisions on grant awards and sets policy.