NEH Awards Humanities Texas and Oklahoma Humanities $184,352 to Assist Recovery from Storm Damage
State humanities councils to offer recovery funds to cultural institutions affected by severe weather conditions
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded $134,352 in emergency supplemental funding to NEH’s state affiliate, Humanities Texas, and an additional $50,000 to state affiliate, Oklahoma Humanities, to help mitigate damage to cultural organizations in Texas and Oklahoma incurred by the severe weather conditions of February 2021.
From February 10th to 20th, record-breaking winter storms caused widespread hardship across the region due to extreme cold, ice, and snow. Texans and Oklahomans experienced prolonged power and water outages, as well as damage from burst pipes, and subsequent flooding. Several culturally significant areas around the state, including museums, historical sites, libraries, archives, and higher education institutions, sustained damage to their facilities and collections. One survey by Humanities Texas and the Texas Historical Commission found that 154 cultural institutions in the state suffered significant structural, water, and electrical impact from the storms. A similar Oklahoma Humanities survey found widespread losses at cultural and educational institutions across the state; even the state humanities council’s headquarters in Oklahoma City sustained several thousand dollars’ worth of damage due to burst pipes.
“NEH is proud to be able to provide these funds to support the people of Texas and Oklahoma in protecting the state’s valuable cultural resources, institutions, and heritage,” said NEH Acting Chairman Adam Wolfson. “Through our partnership with Humanities Texas and Oklahoma Humanities, these emergency funds will quickly reach organizations still suffering the structural and economic impact of the February winter storms.”
Humanities Texas will distribute this emergency funding to affected humanities organizations in Recovery Grants of up to $10,000 to support cleanup, conservation, replacement and repair of humanities collections, and costs associated with resuming humanities programs that were cancelled or postponed due to the storms.
“We at Humanities Texas deeply appreciate NEH’s strong support of our state’s educational and cultural institutions that suffered losses as a result of February’s devastating winter storm. We will work with the affected communities to ensure that NEH’s funding goes as far as possible,” said Eric Lupfer, executive director of Humanities Texas.
Funding decisions will be made according to demonstrated need and the significance of the institution’s humanities collections and programming, with special emphasis on promoting opportunity to organizations that serve underprivileged, underrepresented, and rural communities. Application information is available at the Humanities Texas website: www.humanitiestexas.org/recoverygrants
"Oklahoma Humanities understands the economic and educational impact cultural organizations have on local communities" said Oklahoma Humanities Executive Director Caroline Lowery. “This emergency funding will help repair widespread damages caused by the unprecedented winter weather event. We are grateful to provide this vital support to ensure our local agencies remain resilient, robust, and resourced.”
Oklahoma Humanities will use supplemental NEH funding for emergency disaster relief in the state, offering subawards of up to $3,000 to Oklahoma cultural organizations to cover remediation costs from winter storm damage. This emergency funding will support at-risk humanities collections, collections digitization, consultations, restoration or replacement, archival restoration, or other costs directly associated with humanities programming. The online application for Oklahoma Humanities emergency grant funding is available online through July 1, 2021, at the Oklahoma Humanities website: okhumanities.org/grants.
National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.