Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Humanities Announces CA Cares: Humanities Relief and Recovery Grants

Grants for Public Humanities Sector Hit by COVID-19

May 5, 2020
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Cherie Hill, Communications Manager, 

(Oakland, CA) — California Humanities is pleased to announce the launch of CA CARES: Humanities Relief and Recovery Grants that will provide much-needed funds to the public humanities sector across California.

In recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the public humanities field across the state, California Humanities will direct funds from the federal CARES Act, through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to meet the emergency needs of organizations and individuals in order to help sustain and grow the public humanities field in California.

“These emergency grants will assist those who provide vital learning through public humanities programming in communities across the state who are facing hardships due to COVID-19,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We know that we are all in this together, and that together we are stronger, helping communities flourish and democracy thrive.”

In keeping with California Humanities’ mission to connect Californians to ideas and one another in order to understand our shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape our future, California Humanities relief and recovery grants aim to provide support to organizations that have experienced the cancellation of their public humanities activities due to a decrease or loss of revenue, programming opportunities, loss of paid staff, or venues as a result of COVID-19, as well as to humanities practitioners who are facing financial hardship.

Funding from the State of California will provide capacity-building recovery grants to assist organizations as they consider new approaches to public humanities programming and organizational strength.

Eligible individuals and organizations must demonstrate a track record for supporting rich and engaging public humanities work that is accessible to the people of California. Detailed guidelines, applications, and FAQs are available on our website at:

Relief Grants are made possible by funding from the NEH and the federal CARES Act:

  1. General Support for Individuals

A general support fund will provide $2,000 to public humanities practitioners intended to address their immediate economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deadline #1 – May 15, decision by June 1

Deadline #2 – June 15, decision by July 1

  1. General Support for Organizations

General operating support grants between $5,000 to $20,000 to humanities and cultural organizations based and operating in California will provide unrestricted funds that an organization can use toward any urgent needs resulting from COVID-19 in order to support the capacity for continued implementation of public humanities programming..

Deadline #1 – May 15, decision by June 1

Deadline #2 – June 15, decision by July 1

  1. Recovery: Organizational Capacity-Building

Recovery Grants between $1,000 and $10,000 aim to strengthen the short- and long-term capacity of California-based humanities organizations as they plan and deliver rich humanities-based learning experiences for the people of California.

 Recovery Grants are made possible by funding from the State of California.

Deadline: June 10, decision by July 15

As part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), the NEH received an additional $75 million in supplemental funding to distribute as emergency relief to cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus.

Nearly $30 million of this funding has already been distributed to the state and jurisdictional humanities councils for local re-granting. The remainder will be distributed from NEH in direct grants to institutions and individuals through new NEH CARES funding opportunities. For all NEH updates related to the coronavirus pandemic and the federal CARES Act please visit:

About California Humanities:
California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities—focused on ideas, conversation and learning—as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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