The Virgin Islands Humanities Council (VIHC) is a private, nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a federal agency. This agency, established by Congress in 1965, supports research, education, and the promotion of public projects in the humanities.
Governed by a thirteen-member volunteer board representing the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island, the Humanities Council makes public and private funds available to support programs in the humanities for the benefit of the diverse population of the Virgin Islands. VIHC operates a competitive community grants program and council-initiated and conducted programs, including a Humanities Resource Center for educators and for educational purposes; the annual Daniel L. Heftel Lecture in the Humanities; and a Publications Program focusing on the works central to an understanding of Virgin Islands history and cultural heritage.
The work of the Council is based on the belief that the humanities are essential to the enrichment of life and provide the means to broaden people's understanding and judgment, regardless of their educational background or social standing.
Programs funded by the Virgin Islands Humanities Council have provided the people of the Virgin Islands with new ways of looking at themselves and the world, strengthening our sense of place, of personal identity, and civic responsibility. The Council strives to nurture a commitment to humanities learning among all Virgin Islanders. This is accomplished by working in partnership with humanities scholars and cultural, educational, and community organizations. Each year, the council also holds public meetings on all three islands to inform people about our work and invite their comments and suggestions.