As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which became law on March 27, 2020, the National Endowment for the Humanities received $75 million to protect at-risk humanities positions and projects at museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, colleges and universities, and other cultural nonprofits that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. Of that total, $30 million was distributed to Maryland Humanities and our 55 sister state and territorial councils for emergency grantmaking to the public humanities community.
We are now accepting applications to our $500,000 CARES Act Emergency Relief Grants Fund. The goal of this new fund is to help sustain Maryland’s infrastructure to ensure that organizations can continue to provide opportunities for public humanities programming and civic learning in Maryland’s diverse communities during this unprecedented time. Grants will support nonprofit general operating expenses. Eligible nonprofit organizations include: museums, historic sites, preservation and historical societies, and community and cultural organizations with a significant humanities focus.
A minimum of 50 and a maximum of 100 grants will be awarded. The minimum grant award will be $5,000 and the maximum grant award will be $10,000. Applications will be competitively reviewed with a focus on both need and geographic location in an effort to disperse funds to all regions of the state. All grant awards will be for the same amount.
Applications will be accepted May 1–11 or upon receipt of 125 applications, whichever occurs first. Applicants will be notified of the decision on May 30.
- No matching funds are required.
- Grants will be available to non-profit organizations located in Maryland that provide humanities programming as a significant part of their mission and that are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Grants are available for general operating expenses only. These include expenses such as salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and equipment. Organizations seeking humanities programming support should apply for Maryland Humanities’ Mini or Major grants.
- Application Opens: May 1, 2020
- Application Deadline: May 11, 2020, 11:59 p.m. or upon receipt of 125 applications, whichever occurs first
- Award Date: May 30, 2020
To be eligible for a Maryland Humanities CARES Act Grant, an organization must:
- Offer humanities programming to Marylanders as a significant part of its mission. The humanities include disciplines such as history, literature, film studies, art criticism, and philosophy.
- Be physically located in Maryland and have Maryland residents as its primary audience.
- Have a maximum total annual budget of $300,000.
- Be experiencing or expect to experience financial hardship due to the effects of COVID-19. (Examples include, but are not limited to, staffing cutbacks or reduction in work hours, suspension of programming or activities, or loss of revenue)
- Obtain and retain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B), which uniquely identifies business entities. A DUNS number may be obtained from D&B by telephone at 866.705.5711 or by clicking here to register online or to look up your organization’s number. You need not have your DUNS number at the time of application.
Those not eligible for funding include:
- For-profit organizations
- Organizations with annual operating budgets of more than $300,000
- Organizations solely focused on the arts
- Political or Advocacy Organizations
- Government agencies and libraries
- Universities, colleges, and academic departments
- K-12 institutions
Activities not supported by this grant include:
- Promotion of a particular political religious, or ideological point of view
- Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
- Support of specific public policies or legislation
- Purchase of land or facilities, construction, or renovation
- General operating support for humanities, heritage, and cultural organizations that have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
- Support organizations throughout all regions of the state.
Other Emergency Funding Resources for Cultural Organizations
You may also be interested in learning about other emergency funding programs offered in response to COVID-19. Here’s a partial list of opportunities for which your organization may be eligible: