How to Host a Conversation Project Event

  1. Confirm your eligibility to apply online. Any organization or business can host a Conversation Project event. Below is information for public events hosted by nonprofit or community organizations. For private events, or those hosted by for-profit companies, please contact Rachel Bernstein at or (503) 241-0543, ext. 124.
  2. Choose a program. Review the Conversation Project catalog and select a program or programs that you would like to request.
  3. Check your local calendar. Please consult local events calendars in order to request program dates that do not conflict with other important events in your community or major holidays.
  4. Contact conversation leaders. Before you apply to Oregon Humanities, contact conversation leaders directly to discuss preferred and alternate dates and times for a program request. Oregon Humanities does not maintain the calendars of Conversation Project leaders, so it is essential that you contact conversation leaders prior to submitting an application.
  5. Prepare your host fee and budget for additional costs. Nonprofits and community organizations pay a small host fee of $50 per program (slightly less if you apply for more than one program at a time). Additional costs may arise if the conversation leader has to travel more than one hundred miles one-way to lead the program. In those cases, hosts are required to provide one night of lodging.
  6. Click here to submit your application online. Host fees may be paid by check (made out to Oregon Humanities) or with a credit card as part of the online application
  7. Wait for approval. Please note that applications must be submitted at least six weeks before the requested program date. Allow up to four weeks for notification of approval. Until you have heard from us, do not assume the program has been approved.
  8. Once approved, plan and promote the conversation(s). As part of your approval package, you will receive a template press release and ideas about marketing your Conversation Project program. The expectation is that at least ten people will attend. We require you to send us copies of your publicity materials after the event.
  9. Submit evaluation and participant contact information. Sign-in sheets should be sent to us within three business days of the program date; the host evaluation and publicity material should be sent within two weeks of the program.

Application approvals are based on Oregon Humanities’ commitment to reaching a broad statewide audience, forming new partnerships, and scheduling efficient travel arrangements for our conversation leaders. Oregon Humanities cannot guarantee that all applications will be approved.

We strive to be flexible in program scheduling, so please contact Mikaela Schey at (503) 241-0543, ext.110, or if you have a conflict with our application timeline.

Click here to submit an application.


Frequently Asked Questions

When can my organization apply to host a program?

We accept applications for Conversation Project events on a rolling basis with the following deadlines. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks before the requested program date.

Nonprofits should apply: For programs to take place between:
By September 6, 2016 September 1, 2016–December 31, 2016
By December 1, 2016 January 1–April 30, 2017
By April 1, 2017 May 1–August 31, 2017


How much will it cost?

Conversation Project program host fees are as follows for nonprofit organizations:

Number of
conversations requested:
Host fee:
1 $50
2 $85*
3 $125*
4 $165*
5+ $40 per request

*Please note that in order to qualify for the discounted rate, you must apply for programs at the same time. If you have any questions about the host fee or scheduling multiple programs, please get in touch with us.

If conversation leaders travel more than one hundred miles one way, host organizations must offer to provide either one night of commercial lodging at the host’s expense or a home stay; it is at the conversation leader’s discretion whether or not to accept a home stay. In cases when two conversation leaders are offering a Conversation Project program, it is only expected that hosts provide one night of lodging for one leader. All lodging plans must be discussed with conversation leaders before submitting your application to Oregon Humanities and indicated clearly on the application form.

Host organizations may charge a modest admission fee (up to $5) in order to recover costs incurred by hosting the conversation (e.g., lodging, refreshments, and host fee). Please notify Oregon Humanities if your facility has an admission fee greater than $5. You may also solicit voluntary contributions to your organization at a Conversation Project program.

The host fee has been instituted to sustain the program. Oregon Humanities remains committed to keeping the program accessible to all; if the host fee poses a hardship for your organization, you may request an exemption on the application form. If an application is declined by Oregon Humanities or withdrawn by the host organization, Oregon Humanities will refund the fee in full.


May my for-profit organization host a Conversation Project program?

Yes! Your for-profit organization is welcome to host a Conversation Project program. For more information, please contact Rachel Bernstein at (503) 241-0543 ext.124 or


What other conditions must I meet as a host?

Conversation Project programs must be open and widely advertised to the general public; programs are designed for audiences of fifteen years or older. You should apply to host a program only if you are confident you can draw an audience of ten or more participants. Oregon Humanities does not fund events that are exclusively classroom-based, part of private or members-only meetings, or for conversation leaders at their home institutions. Conversation Project programs may not be presented in conjunction with fundraisers or benefits. Programs must precede any other items on a public meeting agenda. If you are interested in hosting a Conversation Project event that does not meet these requirements, please contact Rachel Bernstein at (503) 241-0543 ext.124 or to discuss your options.


What equipment will a conversation leader need?

Descriptions in the online catalog include lists of equipment that conversation leaders will need for their programs. The host is responsible for providing all required equipment. Please discuss equipment lists with conversation leaders when requesting programs and let them know about any special challenges at your facility. The venue where a Conversation Project program takes place should have chairs that can be arranged in a circle or semi-circle; rooms with fixed-row seating are not appropriate venues.


What if an approved program must be rescheduled or canceled?

Please let us know as soon as possible if a program must be canceled because of inclement weather, a conversation leader’s illness, or unforeseeable circumstances. Please obtain approval from us prior to rescheduling or canceling a program; we will make every effort to accommodate these changes.


What are my responsibilities after the program?

All Conversation Project hosts must (1) collect participant contact information via a sign-in sheet and send it back, (2) complete the host’s program evaluation, and (3) send us copies of publicity materials. Participant contact information should be sent to us within three business days of the program; the host evaluation and publicity material should be sent within two weeks of the program. Failure to return these documents in a timely manner may affect future applications from your organization. An individual from the host organization who attended the program must complete the host’s program evaluation form.


May my organization schedule Conversation Project programs outside of Oregon Humanities’ sponsorship?

Yes! If you would like to host a Conversation Project program that is not eligible for Oregon Humanities funding (e.g., for a classroom, as part of a private or fundraising event, or hosted by a for-profit organization), please contact Rachel Bernstein at (503) 241-0543 ext.124 or to discuss your options.


How do I apply to facilitate a program?

Requests for proposals will be issued each year in January.


Federal Certifications

By signing and submitting a Conversation Project application, the authorizing official of the hosting organization or institution provides the applicable federal certifications regarding compliance with nondiscrimination statutes, debarment, and suspension, as outlined below. If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact the Oregon Humanities offices at (503) 241-0543 or (800) 735-0543, ext. 110.

Certification regarding debarment, suspension, ineligibility, and voluntary exclusion—lower-tier covered transactions, 45 CFR 1169: (a.) The prospective lower-tier participant (organization hosting a Conversation Project program) certifies, by submission an application, that neither it nor its principals is presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this transaction by any federal department or agency. (b.) Where the prospective lower-tier participant is unable to certify the statements in the certification, such prospective participant shall attach an explanation to their application.

Certification regarding nondiscrimination statutes: The applicant (organization hosting a Conversation Project program) certifies that it will comply with the following nondiscrimination statutes and their implementing regulations: (a.) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), which provides that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the applicant received federal financial assistance; (b.) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance; (c.) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance; (d.) Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, except that actions which reasonably take age into account as a factor necessary for the normal operation or achievement of any statutory objective of the project or activity shall not violate this statute.

The Conversation Project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust: Oregonians investing in Oregon's arts, heritage, and humanities.