Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

California Humanities Announces New Relief and Recovery Grants


Grants for the Public Humanities Sector Affected by COVID-19 

May 25, 2021
For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Cherie Hill, Communications Manager, 

(Oakland, CA) — California Humanities is pleased to announce the California 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 American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to meet the emergency needs of organizations and individuals to help sustain and grow the public humanities field in California.  

We know that many organizations of all sizes across the state have experienced the effects of the pandemic on their programs and organizations,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We hope that these funds will help organizations rebuild and strengthen their ability to provide public humanities programming.”  

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 critical challenges as a direct result of COVID-19, including a decrease or loss of revenue, programming opportunities, paid staff, or venues. 

Eligible 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 – 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 funds that an organization can use toward urgent needs resulting from COVID-19 to support the capacity for continued implementation of public humanities programming. Applications accepted from June 1 – June 30, with decisions by August 13. 

Recovery Grants: Organizational Capacity-Building  

Capacity-building project support grants between $2,000 and $10,000 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. These grants will assist organizations as they consider new approaches to public humanities programming and organizational strength. Applications accepted from June 1 – July 21, decisions by August 27.  

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), the NEH received an additional $135 million in supplemental funding to distribute emergency relief to cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus. Approximately $54 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 through NEH ARP funding opportunities. For all NEH updates related to the coronavirus pandemic and the federal ARP 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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