Published June 17, 2021

Virginia Humanities will be distributing more than $900,000 in funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions across Virginia affected by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The funds are part of the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March. The $1.9 trillion aid package included $135 million for the NEH, approximately $51.6 million of which is being sent to fifty-six state and territorial humanities councils and partners to redistribute to local humanities nonprofit organizations in need.

“With so many of our nation’s cultural and educational institutions reeling from the economic fallout of the pandemic, NEH’s state and jurisdictional humanities partners are on the front lines of the crisis, adapting and responding to urgent needs within their states and communities to shore up the humanities organizations and resources that enrich the lives of so many citizens,” said NEH Acting Chairman Adam Wolfson in a press release. “NEH is grateful to our state and jurisdictional partners for joining us in this effort to quickly distribute American Rescue Plan relief funding to where it is most needed.” 

“Here in Virginia, many organizations are finally starting to be able to open their doors again,” said Virginia Humanities’ executive director, Matthew Gibson. “But the crisis for the cultural sector is far from over. Local museums, historical societies, and historic sites are the cornerstones of many Virginia communities. They’ve been hit hard by COVID and we’re honored to have a role in helping them get back on their feet.”

Humanities-focused nonprofit organizations based in Virginia that are facing financial difficulties will be able to apply to Virginia Humanities for grants beginning in July. The grants can be used to cover general operating costs including salaries, rent, and utilities, as well as costs associated with providing 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 September.

Application instructions will be available at VirginiaHumanities.org when available.

About Virginia Humanities

Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. We’re headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, but we serve the entire state. We aim to share the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to share their own stories. We want Virginians to connect with their history and culture and, in doing that, we hope we’ll all get to know each other a little better. Founded in 1974, we are one of fifty-six humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.