California Humanities


Community Stories is a competitive grant program of California Humanities. Grants are awarded to projects that give expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California’s places and people to ensure that the stories can be shared widely. These narratives help us find our commonalities, appreciate our differences, and learn something new about how to live well together.

Young City At War: Stories from West Hollywood During the AIDS Epidemic was made possible with support from Cal Humanities (, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the City of West Hollywood (, and generous individuals and business sponsors.

“California’s population has such a rich and varied story to tell—and we can all benefit from knowing more about each other,” noted Margaret Shelleda, chair of the board of California Humanities. “We are proud to award grants to those who find creative and effective ways of sharing our stories with new audiences and help connect Californians whose histories and experiences deserve greater and deeper appreciation.”

Since 2003, California Humanities has supported approximately 477 story projects and granted nearly $3.8 million to enable communities to voice, record, and share histories—many previously untold or little known. Through video, photography, murals, zines, documentary theater, audio projects, and more, these collected stories have been shared with broad audiences, both live and virtual. California Humanities is an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.