Across the state, 49 libraries, historical museums, community centers, and other organizations recently received Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant emergency funding to help support their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanties (NEH) as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act economic stabilization plan appropriated by the U.S. Congress.
“We put great care into reviewing the 111 applications received, weighing factors such as need, location, strength of their public humanities work, and audience,” Executive Director of Wisconsin Humanities Council Dena Wortzel said in a news release. “From paying the salaries of furloughed employees to Plexiglas barriers and protective equipment necessary for safe re-opening, we saw so much need.”
Friends of the Lodi Public Library was one organization to receive those emergency funds.
The 49 grants awarded are the first grant round of the Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant program. The second application period is scheduled to go from June 15-July 15. Emergency relief grants provide funds immediately to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations that support humanities and cultural programs. The grants help these nonprofits maintain their essential functions and retain core staff during the public health crisis.
“Many of these organizations have vastly reduced revenue due to cancelled fundraisers, lost ticket sales, and loss of donations from supporters who can’t afford to give now. This is a small step to alleviate the pain the creative and cultural sector of Wisconsin is feeling as we face the challenges ahead,” Wortzel said.
Wisconsin Humanities Cares Relief Grants are intended for organizations with annual expenses of $500,000 or less and support nonprofits’ general operating costs rather than specific projects or initiatives. For more details on eligibility and for notification when the application process opens, interested organizations should go to WisconsinHumanitiesCare.org.
The Wisconsin Humanities Council is a leading statewide cultural organization founded in 1972 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mandate is to support and create local and statewide public humanities programs of all kinds, and to help Wisconsin residents use the tools of the humanities to thoughtfully discuss public policy issues.
In addition, the WHC’s regular matching grant program awards close to $200,000 annually for locally-designed humanities projects developed by libraries, museums, and other community institutions for their communities.