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American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants

North Carolina Humanities American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants aim to strengthen the cultural sector’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina. These much-needed grants will provide support for economic recovery, protect jobs, maintain humanities collections, and ensure that the experiences of North Carolinians and the stories of community resiliency during the pandemic are captured throughout the state.

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NC Humanities is offering two types of American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants:  

Humanities Operating Support Grants

NC Humanities’ American Rescue Plan (ARP) Humanities Operating Support Grants provide $5,000-$20,000 in humanities core mission support for North Carolina nonprofit or governmental organizations experiencing hardships due to the pandemic.

Please review our 2021 ARP Humanities Operating Support Request for Proposals (RFP) and ARP Grant Guidelines for full details on this funding opportunity. 

Application Submission Deadline: July 15, 2021

Eligible operating expenses for humanities organizations include but are not limited to:

  • Staff salaries
  • Mortgage, rent or utilities
  • Securing and protecting property and collections
  • Other general operating costs affected by COVID-19

Organizations with a humanities mission and track record of humanities programming, including but not limited to:

  • Archives
  • Cultural centers
  • Community cultural heritage organizations
  • Historic sites
  • Historic preservation organizations
  • Historical societies
  • Literature organizations that provide public humanities programming
  • Museums
  • Humanities media/film organizations

Note: Organizations whose core mission falls outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including missions in the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies, and religious organizations) are NOT eligible to receive funding for operating support but may be eligible for our ARP Humanities Project Support Grants.

Each application requesting humanities OPERATIONAL support will be reviewed based upon:

  • Confirmation to the stated eligibility requirements.
  • An assessment of the organization’s demonstrated COVID-19 hardship.
  • The extent to which the organization is humanities-missioned and provides public humanities programming/services.

The review process also takes into consideration organization’s geographic location, the audience it serves, and other factors (see the priorities listed on our RFP).

Humanities Project Support Grants

NC Humanities’ American Rescue Plan (ARP) Humanities Project Support Grants provide $5,000-$20,000 in humanities programming/project support for North Carolina nonprofit or governmental organizations experiencing hardships due to the pandemic.

Please review our 2021 ARP Humanities Project Support Request for Proposals (RFP) and ARP Grant Guidelines for full details on this funding opportunity. 

Application Submission Deadline: July 15, 2021

Eligible project/program activities include but are not limited to:

  • Staff salaries directly tied to a humanities program
  • Virtual humanities projects
  • Digitizing collections and making them available online
  • COVID-19 projects highlighting the North Carolina experience
  • Other humanities program services

Organizations with a track record of a commitment to humanities programming – including, but not limited to:

  • Archives
  • Cultural centers
  • Community cultural heritage organizations
  • Historic sites
  • Historic preservation organizations
  • Historical societies
  • Literature organizations that provide public humanities programming
  • Museums
  • Humanities media/film organizations
  • Public libraries
  • Colleges/universities, K-12 schools

Each application requesting humanities PROJECT support will be reviewed based upon:

  • Confirmation to the stated eligibility requirements.
  • An assessment of the organization’s demonstrated COVID-19 hardship.
  • The quality of the proposed humanities programming (humanities merit, humanities team, anticipated impact, and plan for implementation)

The review process also takes into consideration organization’s geographic location, the audience it serves, and other factors (see the priorities listed on our RFP).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Funding for North Carolina Humanities American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants was provided to North Carolina Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March 2021. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act package included $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, nearly $51.6 million, or a total of 40%, of which was sent to the state and jurisdictional humanities councils across the nation, including North Carolina Humanities, to distribute to local cultural nonprofits and programming. North Carolina Humanities is a statewide nonprofit and the North Carolina affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to the study and interpretation of the following:

  • Archaeology
  • Comparative religion
  • Ethics
  • History
  • Jurisprudence
  • Language, both modern and classical
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • The history, criticism, and theory of the arts
  • Those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods
  • The study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of [national] life. 

National Foundation on the Arts & Humanities Act, 1965, as amended.

A point of clarification about the arts: NC Humanities cannot fund activities (operating support or project/program support) for the creation/display of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.) or the performance of art (drama, dance, music, etc.). In general, we do not award grants for creative literary programs or writing workshops unless they include considerable opportunity for public reflection, and discussion. As noted above, projects that focus on art history/criticism/theory (e.g. a lecture/discussion program in which a qualified humanities scholar explores artistic themes and helps put work in a larger social/historical context) are eligible. If your project includes arts components, we encourage you to reach out to our staff for further guidance.

Applicants that meet one or more of the following criteria will be given priority: 

    • Organizations who do not receive significant public support,
    • Organizations in rural communities,
    • Organizations primarily serving traditionally under-resourced groups including communities of color or other marginalized groups (Seniors, ALAANA (those of African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and/or Native American descent), People with Disabilities, New Ameri-cans (Immigrants, Refugees, First Generation Americans), Low-Income, and LGBTQIA).
  • Must be an IRS designated non-profit organization or tax-exempt government entity.
  • Must show that your organization has suffered a COVID-19 related hardship.
  • Must be located in North Carolina.
  • Must have a humanities mission (ARP Humanities Operating Support) or a track record of humanities programming (ARP Humanities Project Support).
  • Must have a DUNS number
  • Must not be presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from receiving federal grants.

The following organizations are not eligible. 

  • Individuals
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Organizations focused solely on the arts [visual/performance/literary]
  • For-profit organizations
  • Foreign entities
  • Organizations that do not have a stated commitment to humanities programming.
  • Organizations which provide programs or services limited solely to the members of a particular religious group.

We estimate that it will take 1 hour to complete the application. 

Please see our ‘More Questions?’ section below if you have any concerns or questions about the application process. 

If you are selected to receive an American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant, NC Humanities staff will send you information outlining the requirements for managing your award. Among other things you will be required to:

  • Sign a Grant Agreement.
  • Report any concerns or major changes regarding the grant funded activities to NC Humanities prior to their execution.
  • Acknowledge the support of NC Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Submit a Final Report. The Final Report will require the submission of stories of how this grant impacted your organization and the communities you serve, the number of humanities programs completed, estimates of the demographics and number of people each program event served, as well as a final budget report.
  • Retain auditable records of grant funds for three years after the award is closed.

No, cost share is not required.

However, cost share on ARP Humanities Project Support Grants is welcomed and would help NC Humanities’ reporting requirements significantly.

  • ARP Humanities Operating Support Grant activities must be completed (and funds spent down) by: February 28, 2022 
  • ARP Humanities Project Support Grant activities must be completed (and funds spent down) by: August 31, 2022 

A Final Report will be due 90 days following the end of the period of performance for a grant.

More Questions?

Register for our webinars on these grant opportunities. You will learn about the grants, the requirements, how to apply, and more.

For specific questions contact Caitlin Patton Stanley, Director of Grants and Compliance, at cpatton@nchumanities.org or schedule a one-on-one phone consultation

HOW TO APPLY

Click here to preview the application form
  1. Please review NC Humanities’ 2021 ARP Grant Guidelines and click on the grant category of interest above to read the specific Request for Proposals (RFPs) above as well as the submission deadline.
  2. Watch this video tutorial on how to apply using our online application system.
  3. Get started on your application in our online application system.
    • If you are new to the online system, please create an account prior to applying. Once you have created your account and are logged in to your Applicant Dashboard, click “Apply” in the upper left-hand corner to view an alphabetical list of all open opportunities.
    • If you have previously created an account, please click here to login. Once on your Applicant Dashboard, click “Apply” in the upper left-hand corner to view an alphabetical list of all open opportunities.

  Note: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Submission of an application does not guarantee approval

Thank you for your submission!