Our mission, to harness the power of the humanities to strengthen our state, guides our work every day. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread leaving no one untouched by the aftermath, our role in supporting the cultural infrastructure of New Jersey remained the same. However, the way we support and act as a resource for our public humanities program partners shifted.
CARES Act funding, allocated to NJCH through the National Endowment for the Humanities, allowed NJCH to build a brand new COVID-19 Response Grant program. Announced to the public on May 1, this emergency funding was made available in two categories, General Operating Support ($5,000 to $20,000) and Program Support ($3,000 to $10,000), for New Jersey humanities organizations that experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. The applications that were submitted reveal considerable hardships across the sector.
Eighty-two organizations were awarded $649,620 in emergency COVID-19 Response Grant funding. This funding will be crucial for the many organizations that are suffering across the state. These organizations, often the cherished cultural anchors in their communities, promote lifelong learning and the exploration of our history, cultures, values, and beliefs.
“We have a longstanding history of running successful grant programs for public humanities organizations, and so know well the remarkable cultural and historical organizations that serve this state’s communities,” said Executive Director Carin Berkowitz. “We are honored to contribute to their recovery by administering this emergency grant program. This public health crisis has left no sector untouched and our hope is that this funding provides some much-needed relief to our nonprofit program and project partners.”
The Council received nearly $2 million in funding requests. All funding available through CARES was distributed during this grant round. The Council is actively seeking funds to continue to address this funding gap, as the demand is significantly higher than the need.