Arizona Humanities has awarded $520,000 in rapid-response funding to 58 non-profit humanities and cultural organizations facing financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants are funded by the Congressional CARES Act through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
“These funds are well-spent. Not only are they keeping our treasured museums, libraries, and cultural centers at work, they are helping people across Arizona. So many people have been impacted by business closures, and so many families and children are looking for fun and educational activities while summer camps and schools are closed. This has been a lifeline.” Brenda Thomson, Executive Director.
A special board review panel helped to quickly get the grant funds distributed. Grant recipients received awards of up to $10,000. Applicants were ranked by a variety of factors including a demonstrated history of public humanities programming, budget, geographic location, statement of need, and financial challenges inflicted by the pandemic. “Most importantly these funds are keeping us connected. The museums, community centers, and historical sites all ensure that we are having meaningful cultural conversations during this uncertain climate.” Debbie Nez-Manuel, Board of Directors, CARES grants review panel. In March Arizona Humanities distributed an additional $78,950 in grant funds to 12 organizations through the regular grants process.
The funds are already having an impact on the bottom line for many cultural organizations. Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s Taliesin West has been closed since mid-March, but this critical funding “will allow vital preservation and other essential operations to continue, ensuring our future.” Stuart Graff, President and CEO. The Show Low Historical Society is grateful for funding that will be used towards operating expenses, and “to upgrade…exhibits…the Silver Creek Railroad Route 66 exhibit, and Water History of the White Mountains of Arizona exhibit.” Clair Thomas, Executive Director. The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center will use the funds “to continue to promote and educate the community about our Chinese Heritage and Culture.” Susan Chan, Treasurer.
Two of the 58 organizations awarded COVID-19 Relief Grants include:
Gila County Historical Society Globe, Ariz. $10,000.
Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum Miami, Ariz. $9,000.