On June 16 Mass Humanities announced the awarding of $572,500 to 123 humanities organizations across Massachusetts through funding received by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The grants are made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities. (NEH) received $75 million from the $2 trillion CARES Act legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in March 2020.
“The humanities—our history, culture, and ideas—will be essential in any recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “We’re grateful to NEH for providing these funds to protect the humanities infrastructure of the state. We only regret that we could not meet the needs of every applicant. We will continue to seek ways to assist our grantees and other institutions in surviving this crisis.”
In a recent survey by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), cultural organizations reported more than $260 million in lost revenue and thousands of jobs impacted as a result of the pandemic. Due to lost admission and cancelled fundraisers, many organizations have laid off or furloughed staff. The economic fallout continues to threaten the survival of institutions of all sizes.
As the state affiliate of NEH, this type of funding enabled Mass Humanities to grant unrestricted operating support for museums, libraries, archives and other nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts.
About the CARES Act Grants
Through a funding opportunity made possible by the CARES Act, Mass Humanities offered grants to support operating expenses at museums, libraries, archives and other nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts impacted by COVID-19.
Mass Humanities awarded grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Eligible organizations were evaluated on audiences served, budget size, the centrality of the humanities to their mission, and financial losses incurred by COVID-19. Priority was given to geographic diversity and organizations with annual budgets of less than $300,000.
Mass Humanities began accepting applications on May 4, 2020. A committee of the Mass Humanities board of directors approved the grants.
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Additional resources from NEH
NEH is also accepting applications from organizations seeking support for at-risk humanities positions and projects that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Eligible organizations can apply to NEH for up to $300,000.