Host Minnesota Remembers Vietnam in Your Community! Accepting Letters of Interest Now


Remember the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia through the power of the humanities.

Honor the diversity of stories and experiences around this conflict.

Understand our shared humanity through lasting relationships between Veterans and community members.


The war in Vietnam in Southeast Asia left an indelible mark on millions of people. Minnesotans will engage with these topics in the coming year with a depth not seen in decades thanks to a major media event — the release of the epic, 18 hour Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary “The Vietnam War” through PBS stations nationwide beginning Sept. 17, 2017. The release of this documentary allows a unique opportunity for public humanities programming that amplifies, deepens, and extends this public conversation about the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. To accomplish this, the Humanities Center will partner with Twin Cities PBS (TPT), as well as a network of local host site partners in communities throughout the state.

Minnesota Remembers Vietnam is an initiative led by TPT and aimed at inspiring Minnesotans to remember and share stories, recognize bravery, express their reasons for dissent, and foster understanding around the lasting impact of war. The initiative complements the PBS documentary with a rich collection of multimedia content, including original documentaries and an interactive Story Wall website that will bring to life the specific, multi-faceted experiences of Minnesotans. TPT is partnering with the Minnesota Humanities Center and others to bring this initiative to communities across the state.


The Minnesota Humanities Center seeks host communities for a Minnesota Remembers Vietnam discussion and community engagement program that:

  • Builds common awareness about local experiences of the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
  • Honors Minnesotans’ personal relationships to, and memories of, war and place.
  • Reinforces Minnesotans’ responsibilities to engage critically with historical events.
  • Builds strong community relationships that foster understanding and support.

Up to six host communities will be invited to participate in this discussion and community engagement initiative to add to and learn from the statewide network. Statewide partners will work to recruit communities around Minnesota to participate in the Project as local host sites and programming partners.

Host communities will be asked to take a collaborative approach in which at least two community groups or organizations take an active role in hosting the discussion and community engagement activities offered by the statewide partners, as well as developing significant programming components that have local relevance and resonance. Taking a local approach to programming will allow challenging content and questions to emerge within established communities of support that can sustain conversations and relationships long past the term of the project. Statewide partners will offer a model of collaborative partnership and program development that will allow local host site partners to feel supported and connected. As part of this relationship-based approach, local partners will gather early in the project for a host site training retreat and participate in regular conference calls to discuss ideas and strategies.

Key elements of Minnesota Remembers Vietnam in your community project:

  • Discussion program curriculum and content
    Core activities of the statewide partners will surround development of humanities-based discussion sessions around Minnesotan experiences connected to the war in Vietnam and its impacts. Development of curriculum and content for these sessions will focus on highlighting selections from the epic 18-hour The Vietnam War documentary from producers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Discussion sessions will also utilize the rich collection of Minnesota stories produced by TPT and the other five Minnesota PBS stations, including a documentary on the Secret War in Laos. Themes and topics of focus will be determined based on input and data gathered from an Advisory Group of Minnesota Veterans and community members impacted by the war (meetings were held monthly at the Humanities Center from December 2016-March 2017). Some content is also available in Vietnamese and Spanish.
  • Discussion program facilitation training
    The Humanities Center will collaborate with the other statewide partners to put on a facilitation training retreat to prepare community discussion leaders from local host sites. During the retreat, discussion leaders will learn inquiry-based facilitation techniques and engage with a variety of texts and perspectives on the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Discussion leaders will emerge from this weekend equipped to facilitate meaningful conversations around topics from the discussion program curriculum that weave together personal stories and selections from The Vietnam War documentary.
  • Story collection
    Minnesotans will be able to share their stories, photos, videos and memories of the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia through a submission form on Personal stories will then be shared on TPT’s digital Story Wall that will launch in September and will offer an interactive space for reflection, connection and education. TPT will help equip communities for in-person story gathering sessions to capture stories, make copies of photos, take photos of mementos or create video interviews.

Host Communities Will:

  • Host multiple Minnesota Remembers Vietnam public dialogue sessions in collaboration with the Humanities Center and other statewide partners
  • Engage and build enduring relationships with multiple communities, stakeholders, and organizations in the Host Community
  • Design and implement ancillary public programming and events during the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam residency in the Host Community — to include program development, marketing, venue, logistics, audience recruitment, etc.
  • Share knowledge, ideas, and best practices with other Host Communities across the state through regular meetings and a State Planning Meeting

Minnesota Humanities Center Will:

  • Host an orientation retreat in Saint Paul for all host organizations and several of their partners.
  • Provide a facilitation training retreat to prepare community discussion leaders from local host sites. During the retreat, discussion leaders will learn inquiry-based facilitation techniques and engage with a variety of texts and perspectives on the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Discussion leaders will emerge from this weekend equipped to facilitate meaningful conversations around topics from the discussion program curriculum that weave together personal stories and selections from The Vietnam War documentary.
  • Support relationship building by host sites with new groups in their communities, with the goal of bringing at least 20 organizations on board for this project.
  • Co-plan a community workshop at each host site. Workshop goal is to bring together the partnering organizations to learn about local experiences of the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, identify an area of focus for their work/goals together, and start planning programming.
  • Host monthly virtual meetings with host organizations to learn, share, and develop project ideas.
  • Work with local host site partners to amplify the project content, activities, and themes through their networks, statewide presence, and media.

Grant Amounts

Grants to support small-scale implementation.

Larger grants are available to strengthen and expand discussion and community engagement activities (5-20 events before and during the discussion program residency). Host communities requesting larger grants will be prioritized when demonstrating interest and capacity for long term engagement with the Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices program.

Eligibility Requirements

Minnesota non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations registered with the Minnesota State Attorney General are eligible to apply. Organizations that are applying for major grants must demonstrate a minimum of three years of education and/or community programming for public audiences.

Other requirements are listed below. Each must be demonstrated clearly in application materials.

  • Funded programs must have support from community partners who will contribute to programming;
  • All programs must include measurable outcomes and a plan for measuring and evaluating the results;
  • Grant funds must supplement, not substitute for, traditional funding sources;
  • All grant funds must be spent by June 30, 2019 (but are encouraged to be spent earlier); and
  • All reporting for previous funding from the Humanities Center must be up-to-date.

Grant funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • To start, match, add to, or complete any type of capital campaign;
  • For capital costs (such as improvements, construction, property, or equipment);
  • For indirect costs or other institutional overhead charges that are not directly related to and necessary for the activities outlined in the program proposal;
  • For expenditures incurred before the date you are authorized by the Minnesota Humanities Center to begin work;
  • To supplement current programming (grant funds are for new projects or an expansion of an existing project); or
  • To support benefits and fundraisers.

Grant applications for projects involving cooperation between several organizations are encouraged, especially when the project would (1) result in noticeable cost savings and/or (2) serve greater numbers of people than if it were conducted by only one organization. For partnership projects, be sure to clearly identify the lead organization that is to coordinate the program work, be responsible for grant deliverables, and complete reporting requirements.

Review Criteria

Each letter of interest will be evaluated on its thoroughness and reviewed based on the criteria below:

Quality of the proposed project

  • Evidence of educational and/or cultural value of the proposed project.
  • Evidence of the program’s link to applicant organization’s mission.
  • Clear vision and goals for the program.
  • Clear statement of desired results and benefits to the communities served by the proposal.
  • Balance between amounts requested and people, communities served.

Commitment to and from a community or communities

  • Evidence that the program is built on an understanding of the diverse interests and needs in a community, region, and the state.
  • Project demonstrates a high level of community input and participation.

Program administration

  • Evidence that the applicant has qualified program staff who demonstrate the capacity to complete the proposed program.
  • Evidence the applicant has financial and management capacity to responsibly manage the funds.

Collaborations and partnerships

  • Imaginative and effective use of collaborations and partnerships with other organizations to leverage resources, increase range and depth, and reach more people and areas.

The application is a two-step process through the Humanities Center’s online system, Foundant. Before submitting your Letter of Interest (LOI), each organization must register with Foundant. Once registered, your organization can then submit your LOI. If your LOI meets the eligibility requirements, you will be invited to submit a complete grant proposal, based on the timeline below. More information will be provided at that time.

To register with Foundant, head to the login page and follow the “Create New Account” steps. Step-by-step instructions to register for Foundant and a preview of the LOI questions can be found here.

If you have problems registering, contact Laura Benson at 651-772-4244, or


Letters of Interest deadline: August 7, 2017

Notification of an invitation to apply: August 18, 2017

Proposal due: September 15, 2017

Host communities announced: October 20, 2017

State Planning Meeting in Saint Paul: November TBD, 2017
Host communities recruit partners, develop local exhibits & programming

Facilitators Workshop: February TBD, 2018

Project complete and report submitted: June 30, 2019