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Published May 24, 2022

Charlottesville, Virginia—Beginning June 1, two new grant opportunities will be available for nonprofits working in Virginia’s cultural sector. 

Virginia Humanities, Virginia’s state humanities council, has awarded thousands of grants to museums, historical societies, and other nonprofits in Virginia since 1974. Additionally, in 2020 and 2021 Virginia Humanities distributed more than $1.5 million in National Endowment for the Humanities funds through the CARES Act and SHARP grants programs, providing vital financial relief to cultural organizations large and small across the Commonwealth who were struggling with the financial effects of the pandemic.  

Earlier this year, Virginia Humanities’ regular grants programs were temporarily suspended so that staff could evaluate the organization’s flagship grants program with the goal of making application and evaluation processes more accessible and transparent.

The restructured programs, shaped and informed by careful listening and engagement with grantees, program staff, and other stakeholders, will launch on June 1, 2022.  

“We’re building on a nearly five-decade history of grantmaking to do even more to reach the entire state and empower grassroots humanities work,” says Virginia Humanities’ chief information officer Susan Perdue. “We are doing that by streamlining the application process to make it easier and more accessible, paying grantees more quickly, and easing some of the reporting requirements so grant recipients can spend more time working on their projects.”  

Two new grant programs will replace what were formerly called Open Grants and Rolling Grants:  

Regular Grants

  • Offered twice a year  
  • Awards between $5,000-$20,000  
  • Intended for projects of up to twelve months’ duration  
  • Application Deadlines: July 15 and January 31  
  • Decisions announced within 45 days   

Rapid Grants   

  • Offered quarterly  
  • Awards up to $5,000  
  • Provides faster funding for projects with a smaller scope and duration of up to nine months   
  • Application Deadlines: June 30, September 30, December 31, and March 31   
  • Decisions announced within 31 days  

The decision process for both grant programs will also change. Former grantees and community content experts will join Virginia Humanities staff and board members in evaluating applications for every grant cycle.   

Application forms for both Regular and Rapid Grants will open on June 1, 2022. Nonprofits will be able to quickly determine if they are eligible to receive a grant by filling out a short online questionnaire before completing the application. 

Grants staff will continue to provide review of draft proposals with two weeks’ advance notice, and to offer prompt and thoughtful support to all grant seekers, applicants and grantees.   

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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

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.

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