Humanities Montana has awarded over $100,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds to support cultural institutions across the state. In the weeks ahead, they will continue to distribute nearly $400,000 in grants to the state’s museums, historic sites, and other humanities-focused nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The first round of Humanities Montana CARES Act Grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to primarily small and rural organizations, including Wild Rose Center on the Northern Cheyenne reservation, the Carter County Museum in Ekalaka, and Sunburst Arts and Education in Eureka.  Applications will continue to be accepted and awarded on an ongoing basis through the summer or until all funds are expended. Applicants that did not receive funding in the first round of awards will be considered in future funding rounds.

“Montana’s cultural organizations—our libraries and museums and cultural councils—are at the heart of our communities. They help us explore who we are and how we can be better. We hope these funds will help as many groups as possible survive through these uncertain times. Now, more than ever, we need institutions that help us understand what has gone before and share new thinking about how to move forward,” Kim Anderson, Humanities Montana’s director of programs and grants said.

The grants can be used to cover general operating costs including salaries, rent, and utilities, as well as costs associated with providing online public programs. There are no matching funds requirements and the application is short and accessible. Application instructions and grant guidelines are available on our website.

The funds are part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March. The $2 trillion aid package includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, approximately $30 million of which will be sent to fifty-six state and territorial humanities councils to redistribute to humanities nonprofit organizations in need.

The state humanities councils were chosen to distribute these funds because of their well-established relationships with museums, historical societies, libraries, and cultural institutions that are the cornerstones of some of the most vulnerable and hardest to reach communities.

Humanities Montana is Montana's state humanities council with a mission to serve communities through stories and conversation. We offer experiences that nurture imagination and ideas by speaking to Montanans’ diverse history, literature, and philosophy. Established in 1972, we are one of fifty-six councils across the nation that the National Endowment for the Humanities created in order to better infuse the humanities directly and effectively into public life. We produce, fund, create, and support humanities-based projects and programs, eye-opening cultural experiences, and meaningful conversations.

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