NEH Awards Vermont Humanities $200,000 to Assist Recovery from Flood Damage

pile of books destroyed by flood water
Photo caption

Waterlogged books removed from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library after the July flooding in Vermont. 

Photo by Noel Clark

Washington, DC (September 18, 2023)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded $200,000 in emergency supplemental funding to NEH’s state affiliate, Vermont Humanities, to assist nonprofit cultural organizations that were affected by severe flooding in the state this summer.

Beginning on July 7, Vermont experienced several weeks of severe storms that brought catastrophic rains, flash floods, and landslides to areas across the state, leading to a major disaster declaration by President Biden for all of Vermont’s 14 counties on July 14. During the storms, the state’s numerous cultural and historical organizations, sites, and centers sustained millions of dollars of damage. This emergency funding will support the recovery of cultural and educational organizations in Vermont as they resume humanities-based programming for their communities. 

“In addition to widespread destruction to innumerable Vermont communities, homes, and businesses, these historic floods also took an immense toll on the state’s museums, libraries, historic sites, and cultural centers, endangering valuable cultural collections, damaging facilities, and closing humanities programs and resources,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “NEH’s partnership with Vermont Humanities will allow the state’s cultural sector to begin the process of rebuilding.”

Vermont flooding Montpelier DOD aerial image
Photo caption

A Vermont National Guard helicopter surveys flood damage in the state's capital, Montpelier, Vt., July 11, 2023.

U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis

Vermont Humanities will make these recovery funds available to Vermont organizations affected by July floods through a special 2023 Cultural Recovery Fund grant program. The humanities council plans to match the supplemental NEH funding through money raised from donors and reserve funds. Vermont Humanities has already raised an additional $165,000 for the recovery efforts and plans to award a total of $400,000 in grants to cultural nonprofits impacted by the storms. The council is accepting applications from humanities organizations in the state until October 31, 2023. To learn more about Vermont Humanities’ 2023 Cultural Recovery Fund, and to apply, visit:

“The events of this past July are the embodiment of the need for a ‘rainy day fund,’” said Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup. “We are deeply grateful to NEH, dozens of individual donors, and our Board of Trustees for making this funding available to support libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations impacted by the terrible flooding this summer.”

Vermont Humanities is part of a network of 56 state, jurisdictional, and interim humanities councils that partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities to help support local humanities programs, institutions, and events across the United States and U.S. jurisdictions.


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

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