How to Host a Conversation Project Event

Fred Joe

We have made changes to the host application process, so please read the following carefully. If you still have questions, contact Mikaela Schey at or (503) 241-0543, ext. 110.

1. Confirm your eligibility to apply online. Any organization or business can host a Conversation Project event. Below is more information about the fee structure, which is based on the intended audience and the budget size of the hosting organization.

2. Choose a program. Review the Conversation Project catalog and select the program(s) that you would like to request.

3. Submit the request(s) directly to Oregon Humanities through our online application. In the application, please tell us about your organization, including organizational budget, and the program(s) you’d like to host, including venues, contact information, estimated dates, and intended audiences. Please submit your application at least eight weeks in advance of the program you’d like to host and during the following application periods:

Application periods:
July 1–August 31, 2018
November 1–December 14, 2018
March 1–April 30, 2019

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4. Wait for Oregon Humanities to respond. We are committed to making a decision about all requests within two weeks. At that time, if we are able to approve your request, we will connect you with the facilitator of the program to discuss the program and schedule a date.

5. Schedule the program date. We ask that you schedule the program with the facilitator and send the final date, time, and venue to us within one week of the program’s approval.

6. Pay your host fee and budget for additional costs. Once we receive notification of the final date, time, and venue, we will send you an invoice based on the following fee structure:

Host organizational budget Public program Private program
$0 to $1,000,000      $50 per program  $150 per program
$1,000,001 to $10,000,000 $275 per program $375 per program
Greater than $10,000,000         $500 per program $600 per program

If your organization is not able to pay the host fee(s), you will have an opportunity on the application to let us know how much you can pay. See “How much will it cost?” in the frequently asked questions  (FAQs) below for details about the definitions of “public” and “private,” and additional costs that may arise as you plan your program.

7. Once approved, plan and promote the conversation(s).  As part of the approval package, you will receive a template press release and suggestions for marketing your Conversation Project program. Conversations are best when at least ten people—especially those with different perspectives—participate. As part of event promotion, we ask you to reach out not only to your networks but also to people and organizations that may represent a variety of opinions on the topic of the program you are hosting. If you are hosting a public program, we require you to send us copies of your publicity materials after the event.

8. Submit materials back to Oregon Humanities. See your host approval package or “What are my responsibilities after the program?” in the FAQs below for details about what you are responsible for returning to Oregon Humanities. This will differ depending on whether you hosted a public or private program.

Oregon Humanities makes approval decisions based on our commitment to reaching a broad statewide audience, forming new partnerships, and scheduling efficient travel arrangements for our conversation facilitators. Unfortunately, we 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.

Frequently Asked Questions


When can my organization apply to host a program?

We accept applications for Conversation Project events during the following application periods. Applications must be submitted at least eight weeks before the requested program date.

Application periods:
July 1–Aug 31, 2018
November 1–Dec 14, 2018
March 1–April 30, 2019

We strive to be flexible with our programming. If the above deadlines conflict with your planning needs, or you are outside a current application period, please get in touch with Mikaela Schey at to see if we can be flexible with our deadlines. When our budget allows, we are sometimes able to accommodate late applications.


How much will it cost?

Host fees are determined by the organizational budget of the host organization and whether a program is open to the public or intended for a private group. Conversation Project program host fees are as follows:

Host organizational budget Public program Private program
$0 to $1,000,000      $50 per program  $150 per program
$1,000,001 to $10,000,000 $275 per program $375 per program
Greater than $10,000,000         $500 per program $600 per program

Note: A public program is one that is open and promoted to the general public. A private program is one that is limited to the members of a company or organization, for which there is no outreach beyond that company or organization’s internal board, staff, and volunteers. For the purposes of the Conversation Project, programs are also considered private if they charge more than $5 per person to attend.

If your organization is not able to pay the host fees, you will have an opportunity on the application to let us know how much you can pay. We ask each organization to pay what they are able. If you are able to contribute more to cover the full cost of hosting a Conversation Project facilitator, we will use the funds to help the cover the costs for organizations that are unable to pay more.

Host organizations may charge a modest admission fee (up to $5) in order to recover costs incurred by hosting the conversation, such as lodging, refreshments, and the host fee. You may also solicit voluntary contributions to your organization at a Conversation Project program.


When are hosts responsible for lodging?

If conversation facilitator travels more than one hundred miles one way, we ask that host organizations offer to provide one night of commercial lodging at the host’s expense. In cases when a Conversation Project program has two facilitators, hosts are only expected to provide one night of lodging for one facilitator. As of December 2018, we no longer allow home stays for Conversation Project facilitators.

Please take into account whether you are paying for lodging and adjust the host fee as you see fit—pay less if you need to. Oregon Humanities has limited funds available to cover lodging in cases where the cost of lodging poses a barrier for a host organization. 


What equipment will a conversation facilitator need?

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


What if an approved program must be rescheduled or canceled?

Please let us know as soon as possible if a program must be rescheduled because of inclement weather, a conversation facilitator's illness, or unforeseeable circumstances. Public Conversation Project program information is listed on our online calendar, and we do our best to keep it accurate and up to date.


What are my responsibilities after the program?

All Conversation Project hosts must complete a host program evaluation following the program. An individual from the host organization who attended the program must complete the host’s program evaluation form.

Additional requirements are as follows for hosts of public and private programs:

Public Programs: 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 one week of the program. Failure to return these documents in a timely manner may affect the approval of future applications from your organization.

Private Programs: Sign-in sheets are included in your host materials, but are optional. If you do not submit sign-in sheets to Oregon Humanities, then you agree to send out an evaluation survey to participants within three business days. The host evaluation should be sent within one week of the program.


How do I apply to facilitate a program?

Requests for proposals will be issued each year in January.


What’s the benefit of hosting multiple conversations in a row?

The Conversation Project has more than fifty topics to choose from, including race and power, immigration, food systems, and the experiences of interracial families in Oregon. No two conversations are the same, but they may complement each other. Hosting multiple conversations in a row (weekly, monthly, etc.) might provide your organization, and community, with programming that allows people to go deeper into a theme or reflect how different topics are connected with each other.


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.