Two Arkansas cultural institutions received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in June.
The Arkansas Arts Center Foundation and Arkansas State University both received grants from the NEH for projects. In total, the Arkansas organizations received a combined $231,467 through the NEH CARES Grant Awards program.
Of the two projects, the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation received the larger grant with an outright award of $179,546. This award is earmarked for a collections inventory and database conversion project that will help the organization’s collections and curatorial staff continue work.
Arkansas State University received an outright award of $51,921 that will go toward the Arkansas State University Museum. This funding will help the museum “develop and deliver culture- and history-based tours and gallery activities adjusted to pandemic standards of hygiene and social distancing,” according to the NEH’s website.
“With these very special funds in hand, the museum hopes to safely sustain a solid level of cultural and history-based science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) learning activities,” museum director Dr. Marti Allen said in a statement. “This work is critical to our mission-driven endeavors to connect our regional audiences with their history, engage them in progressive thinking, and enable them to feel, once again, the sense of community they have been missing due to the pandemic.”
These two grants are part of a larger raft of economic stabilization grants that the NEH has disbursed to cultural institutions across the United States. More than 300 organizations have received approximately $40.3 million in CARES grants from the NEH.
As part of the CARES Act, the NEH received $75 million and had already distributed $30 million before the round of funding in June. The NEH selected 317 organizations to receive grants in June.
“Over the past few months we have witnessed tremendous financial distress at cultural organizations across the country, which have been compelled to furlough staff, cancel programs, and reduce operations to make up for revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic,” NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede said. “NEH is pleased to provide $40 million to preserve thousands of jobs at museums, archives, historic sites, and colleges and universities that are vital to our nation’s cultural life and economy.”
According to the NEH, the grants can be used for a range of purposes, including retaining staff, advancing research, maintaining buildings, preparing for reopening and shifting programming and resources online.
Image courtesy of Arkansas.com