The public humanities are not a top-down approach to culture, wherein, professor-experts are required to offer the public their knowledge. Instead, the humanities are practiced, publicly, when we use the skills we learn from the humanities in public. This special issue, like the MLA panel it developed from, is aimed at humanities professors, and as such it thinks much and specifically about how faculty engage with public humanities projects. The essays offer food for thought for nonprofits and people – PhDs or otherwise – engaging in public humanities work, especially as we foster partnerships with academics and academic institutions. Here are 5 big takeaways from them.