The People’s Colloquium is a 501c3 nonprofit based in Portland Oregon that endows grants and awards to programs that offer free education in the arts and humanities either locally in Portland or available through the internet.

As of now, we do not offer grants and awards internationally.

Questions about the grant, award, or general inquiries about The People’s Colloquium can be emailed to ThePeoplesColloquiumPDX@gmail.com.

Please contact us if you require the information on this website in another format. We’re happy to make what accommodations we can to help everyone access our resources.

People’s Colloquium Grant

Grants are intended to cover operational costs related to providing free education in the arts and humanities. They can be applied for as often as needed.

People’s Colloquium Grants are appropriate for nonprofit programs. For programs that are mixed nonprofit/for-profit, please apply for a People’s Colloquium Award, found below.

Here are examples of what People’s Colloquium Grants are intended to cover: the cost of owning a Meetup.com account that hosts reading groups; printing costs for a pamphlet related to an in-person seminar; the stipend for a lecturer; etc.

To qualify, please fill out a Grant Application Form.

The process of evaluating a grant application and either approving or denying funds takes between one and three months. Grants applications that solely request funding for electronic subscriptions such as Zoom, Meetup, Mailchimp, or similar, can often be evaluated more quickly.

People’s Colloquium Award

Awards are offered to mixed nonprofit/for-profit programs that make a substantial contribution to free education in the arts and humanities. Awards are for approximately $1,000 or lessan amount determined by The People’s Colloquium’s Board of Directors—and can be applied for annually. 

Here are some examples of mixed nonprofit/for-profit programs that would make appropriate applicants: a program might offer a public Youtube lecture series that is popular or of high quality but also offer paid-for tutoring; another example, a program might offer classes at a sliding scale but also offer them freely to those of limited means.

To qualify, please fill out the nomination link and review link found below. A complete application consists of a nomination and at least five reviews.

  1. A program can be nominated by filling out this Nomination Form. Note: an administrator associated with the program is the most appropriate individual to fill this out. 
  2. A student or participate can leave a review for a nominated program by filling out this Review Form. Please note that the People’s Colloquium Board of Directors will strongly consider these reviews when deciding whether and how much to award a nominated program. While five reviews are required for a complete application, additional reviews are welcome.

The process of evaluating an award application and either approving or denying funds takes between one and three months.


Events that are free to attend are oftentimes not free to provide. There are numerous possible costs, from Zoom memberships and Meetup.com accounts, to advertising and outreach costs, to material costs related to equipment, transportation, and rentals. Oftentimes these costs are hidden and unknown to event participants, leaving volunteer organizers on their own to cover the expenses.

Our mission is to alleviate these financial burdens so that organizers can focus on what they do best: building community, facilitating events, and promoting learning. The People’s Colloquium strives to play a small part in creating a world where anyone can learn anything, at anytime, regardless of costs and without barrier.

Available Funds

As of September, 2023, The People’s Colloquium has the below amount available to fund grant applications.


And the following amount available to fund award applications.


If you’re organizing free education in the arts and humanities, we want to hear from you!

Those We’ve Helped

The People’s Colloquium has provided grants to the below groups and events. Check them out! (Links provided when available.)


Andrea Budde

Community Coordinator

Andrea organizes a weekly poetry group that supports poets through peer critiques, one-on-one editing, and by providing other resources. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, and has received a Wisconsin Community Papers Second Place award for her work. Andrea holds a BA in Writing from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.

Daniel Johnson

Community Coordinator

Daniel hosts and facilitates the Portland Digital Dabblers, a nonprofit that provides free workshops and social opportunities for digital artists. He holds a BS in Energy Systems Engineering, from Oregon State University, where he also studied Communications, Business & Entrepreneurship. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, trail running, sketching, and learning Blender 3d.

Donovan James


Donovan oversees The People’s Colloquium’s finances and budget. He writes and directs plays, and muses on whether or not existence can be distilled down into utterances burped from meat holes. If not, maybe we’re just here to seek growth, embrace change, and be kind to others—and above all, reallocate all the money and resources used on war to shelter, feed, and educate every human being on this planet.

Evelyn McLean

Community Coordinator

Evelyn co-hosts the Stereoscope Workshop series, an experimental and interdisciplinary free school within the colloquium. She is a multidisciplinary artist and a member of Sundae Theory, a longstanding collective of friends who write, think, and organize events together. She has a BA in Experimental Writing from The Evergreen State College and is pursuing an MSW from Portland State University.

Hannah Herzig


Hannah oversees The People’s Colloquium’s internal documentation and communication. She also acts as a weekly poetry critique facilitator. During the day, she’s a project manager for a logistics company, and during the evening, Hannah enjoys reading and writing poetry, watching basketball, and eating any food a dear friend will cook for her. She holds a BA in English.

Ian Garlington

Community Coordinator

Ian facilitates the Portland Association of Deleuze Studies’ weekly seminar and is exploring experimental film projects with other Portlanders. He spent 15 years in Japan, where he worked as a translator and earned a PhD in American Literature at Osaka University. His dissertation investigated the influence of psychedelics on science fiction and comics.

Jared Linder

Community Coordinator

Jared hosts and facilitates The Critiquery, a weekly writer’s critique group. He’s also an editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine. He’s driven by a love of creative writing and a strong belief that all other forms of art should be accessible to all. He holds a BA in English from the University of Southern California, and a JD from Loyola Law School Los Angeles.

Kristen MacDonald


Kristen organizes The People’s Colloquium’s board of directors. She attends various creative writing critique groups and philosophy groups. She holds degrees in political science and the visual arts, has taught at the college level, and serves on the boards of several Portland-area nonprofits.

Lily Blackburn

Community Coordinator

Lily (she/her) hosts and facilitates Write to Publish, a weekly writer’s critique group for short stories and personal essays. She is an editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine and a graduate of Portland State University. She holds a BA in English with a focus in creative writing. Her work can be found in World Literature Today, Little Fictions | Big Truths, JMWW and more.

Raven Connolly

Vice President

Raven assists with organizing The People’s Colloquium’s board of directors. She’s an enthusiastic facilitator of multiple seminars in philosophy and religion on Meetup.com and Discord.com. She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College where she studied Evolutionary Biology and Multimedia Art. She is continuing her education in philosophy through a growing repertoire of online offerings.

Richard Pope

Executive Director

Rich is responsible for strategic planning for the nonprofit as a whole and for organizing its volunteers. He’s passionate about offering free educational events, including seminars and critique groups, in creative writing, philosophy, and literature on Meetup.com and Discord.com. He holds a BA in philosophy from Kent State University, and a MS in Traditional Chinese Medicine from The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.

Shannon St. Hilaire

Community Coordinator

Shannon is a regular participant in the Write to Publish critique group. She holds BAs in English and Spanish and is a freelance writer. Her short stories and creative nonfiction have been published in The Forge, Hobart, Entropy, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere.

Tyler Whitson

Community Coordinator

Tyler is a mediator between The People’s Colloquium and various philosophy groups. He is a co-organizer and regular participant in philosophical close-reading groups focused on, but not limited to, authors such as Plato, Kant, and Hegel. He also has an interest in the arts in general, more particularly visual art, and has participated in traditional art groups. Pen, ink, and watercolor are his mediums of choice.

Help fund The People’s Colloquium!

Do you appreciate what we do or benefit from participating in groups that have received funding through The People’s Colloquium? If so, please consider donating to The People’s Colloquium. We accept monthly donations through our Patreon. Our ability to support free education in the arts and humanities in part depends on your generosity. The more donations we receive, the more grants we can provide. Our nonprofit operates on a shoestring budget and is run by passionate volunteers dedicated to making sure your donations reach the people who need them.

Thank you!




  • The arts and humanities are sacred: these traditions embody our collective search for meaning (the humanities) and expression (the arts).
  • The arts and humanities are a right: everyone without exception or constraint should have access to community support and education in the arts and humanities.
  • All are equal, all are one: equality, fairness, and solidarity among all beings.
  • We learn from the past while striving for a better tomorrow: humanity must do better as we enter into the days that lie ahead!

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