Grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities Will Help Sustain Seven ASTC Members Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo by Adam Mathieu on Unsplash

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $40.3 million in new grants to help more than 300 cultural institutions across the country navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. As part $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, NEH received $75 million in supplemental funding.

The NEH’s CARES Act grants will help awardees retain staff who can preserve and curate humanities collections, advance humanities research, and maintain buildings and core operations. Many of these 317 grants support institutions’ efforts to digitize collections, ramp up online engagement efforts, and prepare buildings and programs for reopening. 

Congratulations to each of the seven ASTC members who received one of these highly competitive grants! NEH received more than 2,300 eligible applications and just 14 percent of the applicants were funded. Read the full list of grantees here.

ASTC Members Who Received Grants

  1. The Adler Planetarium (Chicago, Illinois | $299,000)
    • Digital Humanities Leadership through the Adler Planetarium’s Preservation, Engagement, and Crowdsourcing Initiatives
    • Retention of six staff positions to further digital engagement with humanities collections and sustained development of a crowdsourced transcription platform.
  2. Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska | $300,000)
    • Increasing Digital Access to the North
    • Retention of three full-time positions and support for seven staff to digitize collections and publish online exhibitions and educational resources. Awarded through the Anchorage Museum Association.
  3. Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, Delaware | $255,000)
    • Hagley’s Reconnection and Reengagement with Audiences after COVID-19 Closures
    • The retention of five staff members to develop online programming for audiences. Awarded through the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation.
  4. Hastings Museum (Hastings, Nebraska | $123,000)
    • Hastings Museum Staff Retention Initiative and Second Floor Comprehensive Exhibit Plan
    • Continued employment of five staff members who will develop a comprehensive exhibit plan for the museum’s renovated second floor. Awarded through the City of Hastings.
  5. Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, Nevada | $32,000)
    • Enhancing Humanities Understanding Through Virtual Learning & Museum Programs
    • The retention of six staff members to develop online programming and on-site programs for re-opening.
  6. Natural History Museum of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah | $269,000)
    • The Digital Education Hub at NHMU: Research Quest; Archaeology: Utah’s Peoples and Cultures; The Virtual Curator; and Sovereignty Interactive
    • The retention and rehiring of staff members to allow for the creation of four digital humanities projects drawing upon the digitized anthropology and ethnographic collections. Awarded through the University of Utah.
  7. Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (Los Angeles, California | $154,000)
    • Preservation and Accessibility for Pacific Island Cultural Heritage Collection
    • Conservation, digitization, and development of a virtual tour documenting 350–450 of the museum’s collection of Micronesian, Melanesian, and Polynesian bark cloths and woven mats. This project will retain four existing positions and create a new Assistant Collection Manager position for the duration of the proposed project.

NEH Funding for STEM-Based Institutions

As a reminder, science-based cultural organizations are eligible to receive NEH grants. Many grants to science and technology centers and museums have been made through NEH’s Public Programs and Preservation & Access divisions. NEH encourages first-time applicants to connect with a program officer to discuss which grant programs might be the best fit for your institution or project.

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