As we reflect on the past two years, unlike any others in recent (and not-so-recent) memory, we are grateful for the opportunity to provide much-needed emergency funds to humanities practitioners and organizations throughout California, with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which directed federal CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act funds to state humanities councils, and the State of California through the State Library. These special COVID-related grants were in addition to the core grant programs that we deliver each year.
In 2020, we made 250 grants totaling $1.56 million in general operating support to individual humanities practitioners and organizations, as well as project support to help build longer-term capacity for organizations to deliver public humanities programs.
In 2021, we made 206 grants totaling $3.1 million, once again for general operating and capacity-building support.
While money is rarely the only solution to a problem, we know that these funds, distributed quickly to the humanities sector across the state, helped to retain staff, keep doors open (virtually or in-person), and maintain and grow public programming that has helped to make sense of this changing world around us.