Humanities Means
— Josh Berk, executive director
Bethlehem Area Public Library

Humanities in action

Jul 14, 2016

Kay Barrett launched the Teen Reading Lounge at Allen F. Pierce Free Library in Troy because she recognizes teenagers as essential to the lifeblood of the library. “I love my library,” says Barrett, who is Allen F. Pierce’s assistant librarian, “and that’s why I can say without a doubt, if we do not make this a welcoming place for our youth, we do not have a future.”  

Jun 14, 2016

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) has received a $287,500 project grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to support the development of a Chester Made Exploration Zone (CEZ). The Exploration Zone is a creative, cultural space in the heart of the historic arts and culture district that will bring people together to revitalize Chester. The CEZ will give community members the chance to engage with one another, learn more about the city’s cultural assets and history, rebuild their downtown and change perceptions about Chester. “This grant is transformational,” said PHC executive director Laurie Zierer. “The Chester Made Exploration Zone will inform dialogue—in our region and beyond—about the role of the humanities in inclusive, resident-driven creative placemaking. Wonderful things can happen when we come together and shape the character of a community around arts and cultural 

May 24, 2016

From Chinese Shadow Puppetry, which tells tales of moral lessons and reinforces cultural customs, to Griots in West Africa who use anecdotes to conserve family and cultural histories, stories communicate ideas, share lessons and carry tradition. Today, one of the most popular blogs and best-selling books in the United States, Humans of New York, comprises stories gathered from residents on the streets of New York City. Similar to the way that stories can shape an individual’s outlook on life, sharing stories about your community can help to transform it. Storytelling is an excellent tool for successful community planning; it can help to engage those voices that are unrepresented and bring to light the values and interests of those living and working closely together.    

  • jackson park
Jackson Park, Team Reading Lounge

Our Vision & Mission 

At the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, we believe the humanities inspire people to make a difference and come together to advance cultural diversity, economic vibrancy, and an equitable society.

Our work is grounded in people. We connect Pennsylvanians to each other through stories, ideas, and experiences that can change lives and transform communities.  

We champion and redefine the role the humanities play in educating citizens and strengthening community. Our programs create pathways for learning and creativity, spark dialogue and civic engagement, and encourage diversity of expression.