NEH Offers Emergency Relief Funding to Cultural Institutions Affected by Coronavirus

New CARES Act program offers up to $300,000 grants to stabilize humanities organizations nationwide.

NEH CARES image with U.S. flag mask
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(April 20, 2020)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced new grant guidelines designed to rapidly distribute CARES Act funding to cultural nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding opportunity, NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations, will provide grants of up to $300,000 to sustain humanities organizations and preserve jobs in the cultural sector.

“We know that, across the country, so many cultural organizations and the staff they employ are suffering severe hardship due to the pandemic,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “NEH is working quickly to distribute emergency funds to strengthen the nation’s museums, archives, libraries, historic sites, universities, and other educational institutions, and to support the communities and economies that rely on them.”

Anchoring an $878 billion domestic creative economy, museums and historic sites are reporting losses of $1 billion a month as education programs, exhibitions, and other events have been canceled.

NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations emergency relief grants provide up to $300,000 to cultural nonprofits to support a range of humanities activities across the fields of education, preservation and access, public programming, digital humanities, and scholarly research through December 31, 2020. Funding may be used for short-term activities that emphasize retaining or hiring humanities staff at cultural organizations across the country to maintain or adapt critical programs during the pandemic. The deadline to apply is May 11, 2020.

NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations application guidelines are available on the NEH website. Applicants will be informed of funding decisions by June 2020.

NEH has already distributed nearly $30 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to 55 states and U.S. territories through state and jurisdictional humanities councils to support local cultural groups and educational programming. The remaining $45 million of the NEH supplemental appropriation will be distributed in direct grants to cultural organizations and humanists to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.

NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations funding opportunity
NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations application guidelines (PDF) 


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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