NEH Announces COVID-19 Relief Grants Using Stimulus Funds

(April 22, 2020)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced new guidelines for distributing funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to cultural nonprofits. Via a new program, NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations, the federal agency will offer emergency relief grants of up to $300,000 to support humanities organizations across the nation, with a focus on retaining and hiring staff.

The aid is meant to bolster a spectrum of activities in the humanities through the end of 2020, from digital efforts to preservation and scholarly research. Institutions can use the funds to fulfill short-term projects, with an emphasis on preserving at-risk positions that keep workers employed as they maintain and adapt programs during the crisis.

According to the NEH, museums and historic sites in the US are reporting losses of $1 billion a month due to the pandemic, which has slashed admissions revenue, shuttered institutions, and halted programming nationwide. So far, the agency has distributed nearly $30 million of its $75 million appropriation in the CARES Act; through local humanities councils, the funds have benefitted organizations across 55 states and US territories. The remaining $45 million will be distributed as direct grants to institutions.