Museums and historic sites across the country are reporting losses of nearly $1 billion a month due to coronavirus-related closures. In order to help protect the country’s cultural institutions during the pandemic, the National Endowment for the Humanities has announced new grant guidelines that will allow the organization to quickly distribute emergency relief.
Cultural organizations can receive up to $300,000 from the NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations emergency relief grants. These grants support humanities activities including education, preservation, digital projects, and scholarly research through December 31, 2020. The NEH funding may also be used to retain or hire staff during the pandemic.
The federal CARES act signed into law on March 27 allocated $75 million to the NEH for emergency relief. The NEH has already distributed $30 million to state and jurisdictional humanities councils in 55 states and US territories. The state humanities councils then distributed this money to local cultural organizations.
Under the new guidelines, the NEH will directly distribute the remaining $45 million to humanities organizations across the country. Organizations may apply for a grant amount based on the average size of their total annual operating costs for the previous three years. Small organizations with operating costs equal to or less than $200,000 may request up $30,000, while organizations with operating costs over $3 million may request up to $300,000.
The deadline to apply for NEH emergency relief grants is May 11. Application guidelines can be viewed here.