Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) & Public Safety Concerns


 (Updated: May 5, 2020)

Resources for the Humanities Sector During the Pandemic: As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues to unfold we will update this page with some of the resources we have been made aware that may benefit individuals and organizations in the humanities sector such as museums, libraries, and cultural nonprofits.


These resources were originally shared in our weekly email. To subscribe, click here. 


Charlotte, NC (March 26, 2020)

Dear Friends, 

I begin this note to you with a quote from Helen Keller that I am personally drawing inspiration from during these times, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  

As we have all been affected by COVID-19 in some way, I write to assure you that the North Carolina Humanities Council stands with you in solidarity and in strength. Through these uncertain times I believe the public humanities has an important role to play in keeping our lives grounded and our spirits up. In a period of social distancing, may the things that make us human keep us connected. May our stories, our cultures and our community help us through this difficult time.

At the North Carolina Humanities Council we have been closely monitoring the situation of COVID-19 and assure you that we remain committed to prioritizing the health and safety of all North Carolinians including our staff, board, partners, grantees and program participants.

In keeping with federal and state guidelines, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person North Carolina Humanities Council events and programs through May 31, 2020.

We know that for most, these programs are an opportunity to come together in physical spaces to learn, exchange ideas and share in new perspectives, but we believe that this decision will best serve the public health of our North Carolina communities. As we begin to adapt to a more virtual space in the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing online humanities resources and virtual program opportunities with you to keep us all connected and learning.

As COVID-19 news is updated daily, sometimes hourly, we will continue to provide updates regarding all Council affairs on our website.

Below, please find our most recent actions taken to protect the health and safety of our program partners.

For now, the Council’s office operations will continue as normal. However, in the interest of keeping our staff safe and to limit and delay infection, our physical office is closed until further notice and staff are working remotely. The best way to contact our staff at this time is by email. All staff information can be found on our website at

You and your families remain in our thoughts.

Stay well,

Sherry Paula Watkins | Executive Director  

Health and Safety Update for Programs

All host sites, scholars and grantees will receive further communication from our organization about how our decision to cancel all in-person programs and events through May 31 will impact them. 

Our decision to cancel in-person programs and events was not made lightly. However, the benefits of swift and preventative measures ordered by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders and the President’s March 16 guidelines to avoid groups of more than 10 people, guided our decision making.

We recognize the difficulties that may result from canceled events. We are committed to working with our program partners one-on-one to address any issues that might arise during this time.

We continue to advocate that our partners and grantees follow recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NC Department of Health and Human Services. If you are planning to attend humanities programs, please check directly with the host site of the event for up-to-date cancelations.

As this is a fluid situation, our approach and policies are subject to change. Thank you for flexibility, cooperation and understanding.


Charlotte, NC (March 12, 2020) - The North Carolina Humanities Council (the Council) regards public health and safety among our top priorities.

With cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) confirmed in North Carolina and a state of emergency declared by Governor Roy Cooper on March 10, we are monitoring federal and state guidance on how to minimize exposure to and spread of the virus on a daily basis. The health and peace of mind of our staff, board, partners, grantees, and program participants will guide our decision-making in the coming weeks. As this is a quickly evolving situation, our approach and policies are subject to change based on guidance from federal and state authorities.

For now, the Council’s office operations will continue as normal. We ask our partners and grantees who host activities and events to monitor the situation in their own communities, follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, follow updates and recommendations from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and use their discretion in determining if events should be rescheduled or canceled. We expect all partners and grantees to keep North Carolina Humanities Council staff informed as they work towards decisions in the interest of keeping their communities safe. Relevant updates regarding all Council affairs will be posted on our website.

Event participants are strongly encouraged to use their best judgment and credible health resources when making decisions about attendance. Event participants should contact those organizations hosting events directly for the most up to date cancelations and event information. All people are encouraged to practice precautionary behaviors that help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Please direct any programming questions or feedback to Council staff; we’re here to help.

  1. GRANT: NC Local News Lab Fund Grant. “General operating grants of up to $30,000 to 501c3 public charity non-profit entities that serve North Carolina residents and their rapidly evolving information needs. General operating grants will provide organizations the flexibility they need to respond to the needs of their communities at this moment.” Questions?


  1. GRANT: NCHF COVID-19 Fill the Gap Response Fund. “To support efforts to intentionally address health disparities worsened by the COVID-19 crisis.” Questions?


  1. LOAN: NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program. Additional funding appropriated by NC General Assembly.