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

Humanities in action

Oct 30, 2015

Over the last two years the Pennsylvania Humanities Council has led the Chester Made initiative in partnership with the City of Chester, Just Act (formerly Gas & Electric Arts), Chester Arts Alive!, Widener University, and The Artist Warehouse. This bold project is grounded in the belief “that democracy is animated by imaginative humanities programming—by people creatively engaged in history, storytelling, and dialogue about issues affecting their communities.” 

Nov 21, 2015

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council is pleased to announce that 14 libraries across Pennsylvania have been selected to host a 2015-16 Teen Reading Lounge  program. This particular round of programming aims to better understand the needs of low-income youth and to explore how Teen Reading Lounge can help them build essential life skills. "More than 400 teenagers and 57 libraries have participated in Teen Reading Lounge since its launch in 2009," said Laurie Zierer, Pennsylvania Humanities Council executive director. "As we move forward with this program, we want to ensure that we reach teens across diverse socio-economic backgrounds."

Nov 30, 2015

In 2014 the Pennsylvania Humanities Council awarded its first civic engagement planning grant to the Scranton Area Neighborhood Park Collaborative, a joint effort of six local nonprofit organizations.  Scranton, a city of about 75,000 in northeastern Pennsylvania, was settled by Welsh and other European immigrants and once known as an iron and steel hub. While the city has moved away from its industrial past, the Scranton Area Neighborhood Park Collaborative hopes to inspire its residents to embrace the humanities as one way of sparking a new spirit of pride and dynamism. This project focused on West Scranton, a diverse neighborhood with new immigrants settled alongside long-time residents, and it aimed to engage the community in improving and building neighborhood pocket parks.  

  • jackson park
Jackson Park, Team Reading Lounge

Our Belief & Vision 

At the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, we believe that the humanities are a uniting and empowering force. They bring people together and provide the knowledge and strength they need to have an impact on their neighborhoods, cities, and towns.

The humanities develop essential thinking and social skills through the exploration of history, the arts, culture, literature, and music and through meaningful conversation. They help us make sense of the world we live in. Through the humanities, we learn to understand one another, to see new possibilities in our future, and to work, play, and live in more fulfilling ways.


Pennsylvania Humanities Council

What We Do

Promoting Essential Education—We help people develop abilities key to leading successful lives in the 21st century—from critical thinking, to creativity and collaboration.

Sparking Civic Engagement—We empower people to join together and make their communities stronger, using the tools of the humanities.

Championing the Public Humanities—We demonstrate and celebrate the value of the humanities and advocate for their support.