NEW YORK CITY, NY — Humanities New York (HNY) today announced nearly $1 million in CARES Act funding to 197 New York cultural nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. HNY CARES Emergency Grants focus on organizations with a core humanities mission, and range from $2500 to $15,000, reaching every region in New York. These grants may be used flexibly, whether for personnel, costs associated with the pandemic, or to maintain or adapt the humanities programs that are proving very useful to keep people connected during the pandemic.
Sarah Gelman Carney, Chair, said from Buffalo that she was “amazed at the resilience of the cultural organizations of our state” and the “incredible efforts they are making even now to continue to nurture their audiences.”
HNY reviewed 325 applications from cultural organizations requesting nearly $3 million in funding. Approximately 60 percent of the 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 197 awards is to help organizations remain vital to their communities by being better able to retain staff, shift in-person programming to online, and make resources available to those who depend on them for education and connection.
In Western New York, Explore Buffalo connects community members with a newsletter that provides weekly “Building Profile” narratives to highlight local landmarks, and Explore @ Home Live, a series of live online presentations by docents about Buffalo architecture and history topics.
In the Bronx, New York City, the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education is offering a book club discussion every week on Wednesday focusing on Black history & culture.
In Southern Tier, The History Center in Tompkins County is working on a community-wide COVID-19 multimedia collection, digital youth programs, and the development of an app called HistoryForge.
These new grants complement the NEH CARES Act Grants, which awarded $40 million in grants to larger organizations across the country. These NEH grants include $6,841,397 in New York State, and address a significant need—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 $189 million in pandemic-related losses to date for New York State.
“As a funder of many smaller cultural organizations, HNY ensures that its resources reach audiences and localities that might not have similar resources, but have great need.” stated Sara Ogger, Executive Director.
About Humanities New York:
The mission of Humanities New York is to strengthen civil society and the bonds of community, using the humanities to foster engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns. Established in 1975 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities New York is a private 501(c)3 that receives Federal, State, regional, and private funding.