Published May 14, 2020

Today, Virginia Humanities announced $599,500 in grants to 110 museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural nonprofit organizations across the state. The grants, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress in March, are designed to provide emergency operating funds to humanities-based organizations that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), NEH Chairman Jon Peede, and Congress for their support of the public humanities in the CARES Act, especially as Virginia’s cultural organizations face financial hardship during this time,” said Matthew Gibson, Virginia Humanities’ executive director. “To have a meaningful impact, we aimed to distribute these funds as quickly and as equitably as possible.”

All applicants that met the eligibility criteria received a grant. Award amounts ranged from $1,000 – $10,000 and were based on each organization’s average annual operating budget.

Quotes from grant recipients:

 “As a small, independent, nonprofit with no endowment, the stoppage of onsite programs, tours, and events due to COVID-19 has resulted in a complete loss of revenue for the Black History Museum. The CARES Act funds awarded will allow us to be intentional and strategic as we move forward. Our goal is to create plans and deliverables that are purposeful, aligned with our work, and are properly resourced so that when we reopen the museum is sustainable beyond this crisis.” — Adele Johnson, Executive Director, Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Richmond

“The Columbia Pike Documentary Project is gratified to be the recipient of funding sponsored by Virginia Humanities through the CARES Act. It will allow our photographers and interview team to be compensated for the work they have done during this time of social distancing and lost revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will put us in a significantly better position to continue to both document the community and be able to share and make our work available through our blog and social media platforms.” — Lloyd Wolf, Project Director, The Columbia Pike Documentary Project, Arlington

“We are very appreciative of receiving a CARES Act grant from Virginia Humanities. The museum will use the grant to help keep the lights on and care for our exhibits while we are closed due to the Coronavirus. A portion of the grant will be used to reach children, who would normally take part in our Friday morning Kids’ activities, with fun ways to learn about the Steamboat Era through our website.” — Barbara Brecher, Executive Director, Steamboat Era Museum, Irvington

“Support from Virginia Humanities through the CARES Act will have a major impact on the Birthplace of Country Music organization. The funds will be used to help offset utilities and expenses related to the safety and security of the museum facility and collections management, allowing additional resources to be used for the development of community outreach and educational content that can reach our audiences more widely through digital formats.” — Rene Rodgers, Head Curator, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol

“These CARES Act funds from Virginia Humanities will pay utilities for June and July and help support staff salaries so we do not have to furlough anyone in July. With 95% of our collections completed, this grant will allow our employees to continue the digitization of our archives so our virtual visitors will soon be able to appreciate the beauty and architecture of Ker Place and access our Eastern Shore history, collections and archives through an online search.” — Hilary Hartnett-Wilson, Executive Director, Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society


In April, Virginia Humanities received $601,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to distribute to humanities-based nonprofit organizations in Virginia. $1,500 was used to administer the grants and the rest was awarded to organizations across the commonwealth covering each of Virginia’s eleven congressional districts. For more information on the CARES Act grants program, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

The following organizations were awarded CARES Act grants from Virginia Humanities in May 2020:

  • African American Historical Society of Portsmouth (Portsmouth)
  • Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (Albemarle)
  • American Center of Oriental Research (Alexandria)
  • American Civil War Museum (Richmond)
  • American Focus, Inc. (Charlottesville)
  • American Frontier Culture Foundation (Staunton)
  • Amherst County Museum & Historical Society (Amherst)
  • Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (Clifford)
  • APVA/Preservation Virginia (Richmond)
  • Arcadia Food, Inc. (Alexandria)
  • Augusta County Historical Society (Staunton)
  • Belle Grove Inc. (Middletown)
  • Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives (Richmond)
  • Birthplace of Country Music (Bristol)
  • Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (Richmond)
  • Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation (Blacksburg)
  • Blue Ridge PBS (Roanoke)
  • Book Arts Press, Inc. dba Rare Book School (Charlottesville)
  • Cape Charles Historical Society (Cape Charles)
  • Christiansburg Institute, Inc. (Christiansburg)
  • Clarke County Historical Association (Berryville)
  • Columbia Pike Documentary Project (Arlington)
  • Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest (Forest)
  • Culpeper Cavalry Museum Inc. (Culpeper)
  • Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History (Danville)
  • Eastern Shore of Virginia Barrier Islands Center (Machipongo)
  • Eastern Shore Virginia Historical Society (Onancock)
  • Elegba Folklore Society (Richmond)
  • Fairfield Foundation (Gloucester)
  • Fall for the Book, Inc. (Fairfax)
  • Fauquier Historical Society (Warrenton)
  • Fayette Area Historical Initiative (Martinsville)
  • Foundation for Historic Christ Church (Irvington)
  • Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center (Fredericksburg)
  • Friends of Handley Regional Library (Winchester)
  • Greater Reedville Association (Reedville)
  • Gunston Hall (Mason Neck)
  • Hanover Tavern Foundation (Hanover)
  • Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society (Dayton)
  • Historic Crab Orchard Museum (Tazewell)
  • Historic Gordonsville INC (Gordonsville)
  • Historic Petersburg Foundation (Petersburg)
  • Historic St. Luke’s Restoration (Smithfield)
  • Historical Society of Western Virginia (Roanoke)
  • Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation (Jamestown)
  • Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. (Williamsburg)
  • Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (Charlottesville)
  • Jewish Museum and Cultural Center (Portsmouth)
  • Journey Through Hallowed Ground (Waterford)
  • Legacy Museum of African American History (Lynchburg)
  • Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center of Virginia, Inc. (Charlottesville)
  • Local Colors of Western VA (Roanoke)
  • Loudoun Museum (Leesburg)
  • Louisa County Historical Society (Louisa)
  • Lydia Csato Gasman Archives (Charlottesville)
  • Lynchburg Museum Foundation (Lynchburg)
  • Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library Inc (Lancaster)
  • Maymont Foundation (Richmond)
  • Menokin Foundation (Warsaw)
  • Military Aviation Museum (Virginia Beach)
  • Montgomery Museum of Art & History (Christiansburg)
  • National D-Day Memorial (Bedford)
  • National Sporting Library, Incorporated (Middleburg)
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington DC)
  • Oyster Museum, Inc. DBA Museum of Chincoteague Island (Chincoteague Island)
  • Pamplin Historical Park (Petersburg)
  • Patrick County Historical Society (Stuart)
  • Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation (Brookneal)
  • Persian Classical Music Co (Vienna)
  • Prio Bangla, Inc. (Arlington)
  • Radford Heritage Foundation, Glencoe Mansion (Radford)
  • Red Dirt Productions (Charlottesville)
  • Reston Historic Trust & Museum (Reston)
  • Rice’s Hotel – Hughlett’s Tavern Foundation (Heathsville)
  • Richmond Hill – (Richmond)
  • Richmond Jazz Society Incorporated (Richmond)
  • Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, Inc. (Stratford)
  • Rockbridge Historical Society (Lexington)
  • Rockingham Library Association DBA Massanutten Regional Library (Harrisonburg)
  • Smithfield Preston Foundation (Blacksburg)
  • South Boston – Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History (South Boston)
  • St. John’s Church Foundation (Richmond)
  • Steamboat Era Museum (Irvington)
  • The Cold War Museum (Vint Hill)
  • The Germanna Foundation (Locust Grove)
  • The Hermitage Museum and Gardens (Norfolk)
  • The John Marshall Foundation (Richmond)
  • The Mariners’ Museum (Newport News)
  • The Montpelier Foundation (Orange)
  • The Muse Writers Center (Norfolk)
  • The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Virginia (Richmond)
  • The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center (Newport News)
  • The Podium Foundation (Richmond)
  • The Presidential Precinct (Charlottesville)
  • The Valentine (Richmond)
  • The Virginia Quilt Museum (Harrisonburg)
  • Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association (Fairfax Station)
  • Vinton Historical Society (Vinton)
  • Virginia Beach Maritime Museum, Inc t/a Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum (Virginia Beach)
  • Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (Richmond)
  • Virginia Civics Education, Inc. (Orange)
  • Virginia Holocaust Museum (Richmond)
  • Virginia Museum of History & Culture (Richmond)
  • Virginia Museum of Transportation (Roanoke)
  • Washington Heritage Museums (Fredericksburg)
  • Waterford Foundation, Inc (Waterford)
  • Wilderness Road Regional Museum (Newbern)
  • William King Museum of Art (Abingdon)
  • Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation (Arlington)
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library (Staunton)

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