NEW YORK CITY, NY (September 20, 2021) – Humanities New York (HNY) today announced $1.2 million in ARP Act funding to 120 New York cultural nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. HNY “SHARP” (Sustaining the Humanities Through the American Rescue Plan) Operating Grants focus on organizations with a core humanities mission, and range from $1,000 to $20,000, reaching every region in New York. These grants are to be used to cover day-to-day activities or ongoing expenses such as staff salaries, utilities, and rent, as well as for humanities programming and professional development.
Timothy Murray, Chair, said from Ithaca that he was “amazed at the resilience of the cultural organizations of our state” and the “incredible efforts they are making to not just recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic, but to pivot to better serve their communities.”
HNY reviewed nearly 200 applications from cultural organizations requesting over $3 million in funding. Just over 60 percent of applicants were funded. HNY prioritized equitable grantmaking by considering geographic location, mission, and the importance of reaching underrepresented communities in its funding decisions.
The objective of the 120 awards is to help organizations mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic by providing budgetary relief while visitation and school trip numbers remain below normal. Operating Grants also provide assistance to partners seeking to implement “hybrid” programming that is simultaneously offered in-person and virtually.
In the Finger Lakes, Friends of Ganondagan will continue to offer humanities-based programming such as the Haudenosaunee Filmmakers Festival and the Building Bridges community dialogues, while increasing accessibility to members of the BIPOC, LGBTQ, Refugee, and Disability communities.
In the Capital Region, the Chapman Museum is launching a multiyear diversity initiative. In collaboration with the Glens Falls chapter of the NAACP, they will expand their collections to include the life experiences of African Americans in the area.
On Long Island, Preservation Long Island plans to reopen the Joseph Lloyd Manor to the public, introducing new lessons and content that present a relevant and equitable interpretation of the site. This will include Native American history and the stories of enslaved people who lived in and around the manor.
HNY has a demonstrated track record of distributing emergency and recovery support. In 2020, HNY awarded nearly $1 million in CARES grants to 197 organizations across the state. By sustaining the cultural sector, these funds bolster New York State’s civic infrastructure and its economy—in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the arts and culture sector contributed $119.9 billion to New York’s economy, representing 7.8% of the state’s GDP and 466,926 jobs. More recently, the Economic Impact of Coronavirus on the Arts and Culture Sector Survey from Americans for the Arts shows over $338 million in pandemic-related losses to date for New York State.
“To ensure that recovery funding reaches diverse institutions, HNY prioritizes its resources to smaller organizations,” stated Sara Ogger, Executive Director. “These partners are creative, nimble, and responsive to the needs of their audiences because their leadership reflects the demographics they serve. SHARP funds will help sustain them as they chart a way forward.”
About Humanities New York:
Using dialogue, reflection, and critical thinking, Humanities New York applies the humanities to strengthen democratic society. Established in 1975 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities New York is a private 501(c)(3) organization that may receive federal, state, and private funding.
About SHARP: HNY SHARP (Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan) is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities via the federal American Rescue Plan Act.