Introducing the Public Scholars Project

One of the goals of our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan is to expand access to the humanities. We achieve this goal by cultivating humanities programs that serve a variety of audiences. We also act as connectors and conveners by working in partnership with organizations throughout the state.

We are excited to announce our newly revamped program, the Public Scholars Project. Previously known as the Horizons Speakers Bureau, the Public Scholars Project (PSP) will continue to provide engaging and educational humanities experiences. And public scholars will still facilitate 1 to 2 hour events in libraries, community centers, and other nonprofit venues throughout the state.

However, the Public Scholars Project will focus more on audience engagement and interactivity. Not only does it align with our Strategic Plan, the Public Scholars Project design was influenced by feedback provided by our partner organizations. In fact, when we put out our call for new topic proposals earlier this year, we specifically requested submissions from scholars with new and unique formats and topics. We will still offer traditional presentations and first person historical interpreters. However, we’ve added some new choices to the catalog. Audience-focused exploratory discussions, hands-on activities, workshops, films, and other interactive sessions will be offered for some new and contemporary topics.

Because of the transition from the Speakers Bureau to the Public Scholars Project, the timeline for requesting programs will be different for programs taking place in our 2018 fiscal year (11/1/17-10/31/18). We will begin accepting applications for programs on October 1, 2017. To be eligible to apply, an organization must be an incorporated 501c3 nonprofit or government entity located in New Jersey; groups that do not have 501c3 status or are not government entities may partner with another organization, such as a local library or school.

Applications will continue to be reviewed on a first come, first served basis and partner organizations can still request up to two annually. Our funding permits us to subsidize the bulk of the $500 program cost for up to 200 public scholar sessions. The nominal $50 application fee covers some administrative costs.

In the past, we’ve received requests for sessions after the slots have all been filled for the 200 subsidized programs. To accommodate this, we’re pleased to announce that all PSP sessions, as of November 1, 2017, will be available for purchase for $500 per session once all of the subsidized program slots have been filled.

We anticipate our new catalog and online application system to be available as of October 1, 2017. We appreciate your understanding during this transition. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact James Kirkland, Manager of Operations, at jkirkland@njch.org or 609.695.4838, ext. 221.

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