Putting the

Our Work

Putting the "HUMAN" in Humanities


Through our workshops, traveling exhibits, documentaries, published works and more, we engage people all over the state in a variety of ways – and have for nearly 50 years. Participants include civic leaders, community members, educators, Veterans, environmentalists, authors, storytellers, scholars, native nations, humanists, activists and you.

One of the great strengths of the Humanities Center is our network of statewide partners. Since 1971, the Humanities Center has partnered and collaborated with thousands of organizations and individuals including (but not limited to): The Minnesota Historical Society, Twin Cities PBS, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Science Museum of Minnesota, AMPERS, Camp Ripley, Women Veterans’ Initiative, Smithsonian Institution, Ka Joog, Hennepin County Library, Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Almanac, The Loft Literary Center and a wide array of educational institutions from the University to Minnesota to St. Catherine University to the Roseville Public Schools and Minnehaha Academy – and everything in between.

The humanities are all around us and are at the essence of our humanity, but that does not mean they do not need support and advocacy. Supporters of the Humanities Center include foundations, individual donors, volunteers, state and federal legislators, program participants, partners and more. Human-powered humanities takes all of us.

Human-powered humanities takes all of us


Central to the work of the Humanities Center is a relationship-based approach to what we do and how we do it. For each tangible “thing” or “experience” from the Humanities Center there is an equally important and powerful relationship and partnership that is formed and centered in our core values. These relationships then continue to build and grow into powerful statewide networks.
You and your fellow Minnesotans can experience the Humanities Center’s work through:

  • Workshops, programs, lectures, discussion forums, traveling exhibits, resources, field trips, and retreats
  • Professional development for educators and community leaders
  • An Event Center that convenes communities to share their stories, build and strengthen relationships, cross barriers, and collaborate in new ways
  • Print, video, digital, and multimedia tools for educators and communities organized and accessible through an extensive database

“The arts and humanities teach us who we are and what we can be. They lie at the very core of the culture of which we’re a part.” – Ronald Reagan


Our programs are continuously developing, growing and evolving to meet and reflect the needs of Minnesota. Currently, the Humanities Center continues to engage our state’s communities by exploring “absent narratives”— voices often left out or marginalized – through five core programs:

  • Veterans’ Voices amplifies Minnesotan military Veteran experiences through storytelling, workshops, and awards
  • We Are Water MN is an exhibit examining the practical, spiritual, and environmental roles of water in our lives
  • K-12 Education continues our education legacy through workshops and field trips that examine the manifold cultures alive across Minnesota
  • Native Nations of Minnesota and our relationship with them exemplify our deep and meaningful relationship to place. We learn from Dakota and Ojibwe people through stories of this land and its first people
  • Community Conversations are public events for all Minnesotans who are interested learning from and with diverse communities and in exploring how the humanities can be a bridge between what divides and unites us

Additionally, MHC has an ongoing education partnership with Omaha Public Schools (OPS). In 2008, MHC was approached by a private foundation about bringing our transformative professional development resources to educators in Nebraska. Because of this generous funder, we have had the opportunity to develop in-depth programming that increases student success by strengthening relationships among educators, parents, communities, and students. Our work in Omaha helps inform our overall K-12 Education strategy which leads to better futures for all students, regardless of geography.