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Julie Fry, president and CEO of California Humanities. Photo: Terry Lorant

During federal shutdown, grant payments are delayed but applications are still open

A KQED Arts story by Sam Lefebvre on the federal shutdown’s impact on the arts and humanities features an interview with California Humanites CEO Julie Fry, as well as representatives of the Museum of the African Diaspora, California Arts Council, Kronos Quartet, Museums of Sonoma County and the City of Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Manager Roberto Bedoya:

California Humanities issued more than $1 million in grants to artists and cultural organizations.

But now, the National Endowment for the Humanities’ state partner has suspended grant-making indefinitely as the historic federal government shutdown nears its sixth week.

The independent nonprofit, which has offices in Oakland and Los Angeles, is operating on an “austerity basis,” CEO Julie Fry told KQED, unable to release even already awarded grants.

In the final two months of 2018, California Humanities awarded more than 30 grants totaling approximately $350,000. But the release of the funds, in some cases expected to occur this month, is now delayed. Likewise, interim and final payments of earlier grants are on pause until further notice.

“We will resume payments as soon as the government reopens, the federal budget is approved, and the NEH recommences payments to the state humanities councils,” Fry told grant recipients and hopefuls in an email sent on Friday. “At this point, we are unsure how long this process will take.”

Fry said the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) contributes a “significant portion” of California Humanities’ grant-making budget. Last year California Humanities awarded just over $1,030,000 to 98 projects statewide in categories such as documentary filmmaking and library innovation. Now, though, the organization is pausing even travel and office expenses.

Note: While we’ve delayed disbursing payments, we’re still accepting applications. More information for grantees & applicants on

Read the rest of the article on KQED Arts.

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