The New Jersey Council for Humanities (NJCH) started its work in 1972 when a small group of citizens established the organization as an independent nonprofit and state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. These pioneers of the public humanities included Clara Allen, Frederic Fralick, Renee Kogel, Richard McCormick, Stanley Menking, Bernard Peltz, Hamilton Stillwell, and Paul Ylvisaker. Following NEH’s directive that the humanities be placed in the service of democracy, the new organization funded programs that brought humanities perspectives to bear on contemporary public policy issues.
In the decades that followed, NJCH expanded its work to embrace a variety of themes and formats—a media lending library, a South Jersey history Chautauqua, community conversations on justice, teacher institutes, “Meet Your Neighbor” programs exploring cultural diversity—these were some of the many projects, all responding to specific needs and challenges.
Today, we build on NJCH’s legacy of outreach and engagement and deepen our commitment to expanding humanities audiences.