In each of Humanities NY's Reading & Discussion Programs, participants read a series of thematically linked texts over the course of four, five, or six sessions. At each session, participants come together with others in their community to discuss a text in a conversation facilitated by a trained local scholar.
The texts in each series vary: novels, poems, speeches, memoirs, and essays; works of history, philosophy, religion, and criticism. Each series is organized around a significant theme or important historical commemoration. A list of texts is provided from which the host site and the scholar-facilitator choose. Humanities New York provides up to 15 copies of books for the host site to borrow.
Any tax-exempt organization in New York State can host this program.
Traditional humanities organizations like libraries, museums, and historical societies, as well as organizations such as AmeriCorps sites, prisons, veterans’ groups, and churches, use the program to enrich their programmatic offerings or to build new audiences.
Host sites agree to pay a fee of $25 per session. The fee may be waived upon request.
There are two deadlines a year. Apply by June 25th to host a program in the Fall, or in December for Spring programs. Firmer deadlines appear as those periods approach.
Humanities NY provides host sites with quality training and resources to enable a successful conversation. Host sites must select a scholar-facilitator to facilitate discussions, whom Humanities NY will pay $150 per session. Before applying, a host site must:
- Choose a thematic series.
- Select the number of sessions it plans to host.
- Choose a scholar-facilitator and gather their CV for the application.
- Decide whether or not to borrow books from Humanities NY.
To host a Reading & Discussion program, browse the themes listed and follow the link to apply. If you have additional questions, contact Program Officer Adam Capitanio.
Humanities NY awards grants of up to $1,000 to support organizations that continue to offer Reading & Discussion programs of their own design.
Reading & Discussion Grants are a separate offering from the Reading & Discussion Programs, and only available to organizations that have previously hosted one of Humanities NY's Reading & Discussion Programs. They are designed to enable organizations and facilitators to design themes outside of those offered by HNY's Reading & Discussion Program.
Before applying for an R&D Grant, download and read the application guidelines. The application asks for the resume of the proposed scholar-facilitator, as well as a budget and syllabus for the program.