Wisconsin Humanities to Award CARES Relief to Cultural Organizations Struggling Due To COVID-19

MADISON, WI, April 20, 2020 – Grants of up to $10,000 will be available soon to Wisconsin’s humanities and cultural organizations to help them cope with financial hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, the Wisconsin Humanities Council announced the Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant program, which will distribute close to $540,000.

The relief funds were received by the Wisconsin Humanities Council as authorized by the federal CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Humanities.

"Everyone in Wisconsin is struggling to negotiate closures. We're so happy we can help in some small way to alleviate the pain many organizations are feeling," says Dena Wortzel, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the humanities and culture sector in which local organizations often depend on admission sales and public donations for revenue. Many of Wisconsin’s cultural organizations are facing employee furloughs and possible closures. With most of their programming cancelled or postponed, the grants will provide direct assistance to these nonprofits for their general operations.

The Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant application period will open by April 24th. The first-round deadline will be May 15th and award decisions will be made within 15 business days.

To be eligible, applicants must be nonprofit organizations located in Wisconsin that provide public humanities programming as a significant part of their mission. According to the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the humanities are defined as “the ideas and knowledge about human history and culture that help make sense of [one’s] life.” Fields in the humanities include archaeology, cultural anthropology, ethnic studies, folklore, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religious studies, social sciences, and the history, theory, and criticism of the arts. 

The grants are intended for smaller organizations with annual expenses of $500,000 or less and will support nonprofits’ general operating costs rather than specific projects or initiatives.

For more details on eligibility and for notification when the application process opens, interested organizations should go to the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s website.

About the Wisconsin Humanities Council

The Wisconsin Humanities Council is a leading statewide cultural organization founded in 1972 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mandate is to support and create local and statewide public humanities programs of all kinds, and to help Wisconsin residents use the tools of the humanities to thoughtfully discuss public policy issues. The WHC’s matching grant program awards close to $200,000 annually for locally-designed humanities projects developed by libraries, museums, and other community institutions for their communities. The WHC also periodically develops its own programs, such as Beyond the Headlines and Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border, to address topics of statewide interest. The WHC is a partner in producing Love Wisconsin, the acclaimed digital storytelling platform. For more information Wisconsin Humanities Council, visit http://wisconsinhumanities.org or connect on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wihumanities/.

For more information about this initiative, please contact Dena Wortzel, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, at (608) 265-5593 or dena.wortzel@wisconsinhumanities.org.