Community members gather at Herberlig-Parlmer Park in Carlisle for a clean-up day coordinated by the West Side Neighbors Association.

Civic Engagement Grants

At the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, we believe the humanities can inspire people to come together and make a difference in their communities. Our civic engagement grants support humanities-focused approaches to community development throughout the commonwealth.

In 2016 we are supporting four Pennsylvania communities with civic engagement grants: Carlisle, Meadville, Williamsport, and the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. All four communities will incorporate elements of the humanities, including storytelling, into their planning processes.

Central Germantown Business Corridor. Photo by Monique Brand.

Orton Family Foundation Partnership

In order to achieve the greatest impact and broadest reach through the civic engagement grants we award, we have partnered with the Orton Family Foundation to bring its Community Heart & Soul™ method to our grant communities. Community Heart & Soul is a proven process that empowers people to shape the future of their communities by creating a shared sense of belonging that improves local decision-making and ultimately strengthens social, cultural, and economic vibrancy.

Key to the process is learning what matters most to the community through gathering stories from and engaging as many residents as possible, including those who don’t typically participate in public processes. With storytelling at the heart of planning and development, local values and voices become the foundation for building communities that are connected, innovative, competitive, and strong.

Learn More About Our Current Grant Communities 


Learn More About Humanities-Based Community Development