About Us


Virginia Humanities connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement.

The former Dan River Fabrics building in Danville.  Photo courtesy of Mark Aron and the Danville Regional Foundation.
The former Dan River Fabrics building in Danville. Photo courtesy of Mark Aron and the Danville Regional Foundation.

Who We Are

Virginia Humanities connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. By supporting and producing cultural, civic, local, and global educational programs for broad public audiences, Virginia Humanities encourages discovery and connection through the humanities.

Since its founding in 1974, it has grown to become the largest and most diversely funded state humanities council in the country, producing more than 40,000 humanities programs including festivals, public radio programs, and digital resources, and contributing to more than 3,500 grant projects and 350 individual and collaborate fellowships.

 

Matthew Gibson (left) speaks with UVA assistant professor of hip hop and the global south, A.D. Carson, at Welcome Gallery in Charlottesville.

Virginia Humanities is a remarkable asset to the people of the Commonwealth. We offer a diverse array of programs—from public events to radio programs to books and a rapidly-growing group of digital resources—that help Virginians explore our past and better understand our present.

— Matthew Gibson, Executive Director

 

How We Do It

In just over 40 years, we’ve produced more than 40,000 humanities programs in Virginia and beyond. They promote lifelong learning, public dialog, and community engagement.

Our efforts are educational in nature, but civic in practice. Alongside our festivals, publications, conferences, and radio programs, we’ve contributed to over 3,500 grant projects, and 350 individual and collaborative fellowships.

Virginia Humanities is able to do this work thanks in part to a unique partnership with the University of Virginia. Our statewide headquarters are in Charlottesville at the University, and Virginia Humanities functions as both a non-academic department of UVA and an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.