Delaware Humanities 50th Anniversary

Delaware Humanities: 1973-2023

“The humanities belong to all the people of the United States.” 

National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act (1965)

In 1965, the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act was passed by Congress.  In it, the National Endowment for the Humanities was established to support access to and research in subjects related to the humanities (the study of human culture and society). 

A provision was included for the creation of state administrative agencies. Six state-based programs were launched in 1971 to test this method of making the humanities accessible to everyone in America.  The experiment was a success and now, over fifty years later, there are over fifty councils (serving U.S. states as well as jurisdictions). 

Delaware Humanities was founded in 1973. Since its inception, the organization has funded other nonprofit projects as well as provided free, educational experiences to all Delawareans.  In 2022, Delaware Humanities updated its logo, mission statement, and aligned all its activities into four core concepts: Stories & Histories, Health & Environment, Culture & Community, and Media & Democracy. 

If you are a new friend, welcome to Delaware Humanities! And if you’re an old friend, welcome back (and to the new Delaware Humanities)!  We hope you’ll all join us for a year of looking at where we’ve been, where we are, where we hope to go, and why the humanities are such an essential part of daily life.  

“Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and the humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.” 

National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act (1965)

If you’d like to explore more:

“The humanities belong to everyone” 

An Ongoing Experiment: State Councils, the Humanities, and the American Public 

The Federation of State Humanities Councils