Published April 13, 2020

With more than $500,000 in emergency funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), we will be providing grants to museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions across Virginia affected by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress in March. The $2 trillion aid package includes $75 million for the NEH, approximately $30 million of which will be sent to fifty-six state and territorial humanities councils to redistribute to humanities nonprofit organizations in need.

The state humanities councils were chosen to distribute these funds because of their well-established relationships with museums, historical societies, libraries, and cultural institutions that are the cornerstones of some of the most vulnerable and hardest to reach communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to seek new ways to build and strengthen our relationships with each other,” said Virginia Humanities’ executive director, Matthew Gibson. “This crisis causes us to ask profound questions about the future of our communities and how we will preserve the unique qualities that make us who we are. Our cultural institutions are vital to answering these questions.”

Humanities-focused nonprofit organizations based in Virginia that are facing financial difficulties will be able to apply to Virginia Humanities for grants beginning April 20 through April 30. The grants can be used to cover general operating costs including salaries, rent, and utilities, as well as costs associated with providing online public programs. There are no matching funds requirements and every effort is being made to lower the barriers to accessing these funds. Awards will be announced in May.

Application instructions will be available on our grants website beginning April 20.

Humanities Needs Survey

In order to help us understand the needs of our humanities community and before guidelines about the application process are completed, we’re asking our partners at Virginia’s museums, libraries, historic sites, and other cultural nonprofits to respond to this brief survey about their current and future needs.

Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.