5 things you didn’t know about Alabama Humanities Foundation + SAVE THE DATE for the Alabama Colloquium


Janet Leffard was one of the 2018 Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship recipients. Photo via AHF.

Educating educators, funding classroom programs, hosting seminars and forums, granting state-wide financial support for humanities-based events enjoyed by over 1.3 million people in 2018. It’s all in a day’s work for Alabama Humanities Foundation.

1. First Things First– What are the Humanities, Anway?

AHF helped fund the facilitation of this traveling exhibit. The exhibit is a companion piece to a book that traces the history of the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama, how it impacted the lives of the earliest inhabitants of that area, and how it continues to do so today. Photo via AHF.

If I’m being honest, this was my first question too. What exactly are the humanities? Essentially, the humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the human experience.

In simpler terms, humanities can include a lot of different disciplines! History, literature, philosophy, archaeology, languages, ethics, cultural anthropology, art history… basically, all my favorite classes in college.

Now that we’re all on the same page—

2. Alabama Humanities Foundation was Founded with a Mission

Pre-concert talk followed by a performance by the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. Photo via AHF.

Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) was founded in 1974 with this mission in mind:

“The mission of AHF is to foster learning, understanding, and appreciation of our people, communities, and cultures. AHF encourages and promotes the appreciation of literature, history, law, philosophy, and the arts through programs, events, and grants that help individuals discover and share the meanings of life found through the humanities.”

3. AHF is the Primary Source of Grants for Public Humanities Programs in the State

Today, AHF initiates major programs and events in support of humanities topics. In addition to their many projects and programs, AHF is also the primary source of grants for public humanities programs in Alabama.

Executive Director Armand DeKeyser presenting a Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship to Tammy Brown of Central School in Huntsville. Photo via AHF.

One of the grants that AHF awards is the Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship. Every year, AHF awards up to four $1,000 scholarships to K-6 educators in support of history and civics-related projects in their schools and classrooms. 

4. AHF Hosts Programs that Benefit Teachers, Students, Veterans, and More

Alabama educators are all smiles after completing one of the AHF’s SUPER teacher institutes. Photo via AHF.

If you have a kiddo in public school, or you’ve watched a documentary related to the state, or if you’ve attended a seminar or forum at one of our wonderful public libraries– chances are, your life has already been impacted by AHF.

Alabama Humanities Foundation hosts a wide range of special projects that vary from year to year. Their core consists of seven distinct programs that serve Alabamians of all ages. Check out the links below to learn more about each!

To keep up with all the AHF happenings, you follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

5. AHF Hosts the Alabama Colloquium

2018 Alabama Colloquium. Photo via AHF.

The Alabama Colloquium is an annual event at which AHF recognizes individuals and/or organizations whose actions and decision-making are grounded in an appreciation and understanding of the importance of the humanities in our daily lives. Those recognized are designated as AHF Fellows.

  • When: October 7, 2019
  • Where: The Club | 1 Robert S Smith Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209
  • Who: The Colloquium attracts scholars, educators, thought leaders, public officials, individuals and organizations with a passion for the humanities.
  • Why: The Colloquium is important in three ways: To recognize and honor Alabamians who make a humanities-related impact, to share and promote the importance of AHF and its mission and to raise money for AHF programs.

Save the date, Birmingham! You’re not going to want to miss this.

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.