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Museum receives $2,000 pandemic grant / May 21, 2020

Virginia Humanities announced Thursday that $599,500 in grants will be distributed to museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural nonprofit organizations across the state.

The South Boston – Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History was one of dozens across the state to receive funding.

“We received $2,000 due to the scope of our general operations budget,” said Jennifer Bryant, the museum’s director..

The grants are part of the CARES Act and are designed to provide emergency operating funds to humanities-based organizations struggling due to the pandemic.

“We’re grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), NEH Chairman Jon Peede, and Congress for their support of the public humanities in the CARES Act, especially as Virginia’s cultural organizations face financial hardship during this time,” said Matthew Gibson, Virginia Humanities’ executive director. “To have a meaningful impact, we aimed to distribute these funds as quickly and as equitably as possible.”

Applicants that met the eligibility criteria received a grant ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Eligibility was based on each organization’s average annual operating budget.

The National Endowment for the Humanities received $75 million in supplemental funding to assist cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act economic stabilization plan appropriated by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

The emergency funding will support at-risk humanities positions and projects at museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, colleges and universities, and other cultural nonprofits that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. Anchoring the domestic creative economy, museums and historic sites are reporting losses of $1 billion a month as education programs, exhibitions, festivals, and other events have been canceled.

Approximately 40 percent of the appropriation, or $30 million, will go directly to the 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils to support local cultural nonprofits and educational programming. Through the regranting of federal support, the councils reach an estimated annual audience of 137 million people across the world.

NEH and its national humanities partners will work together to contextualize the global impact of the coronavirus in relation to other cataclysmic events, such as plagues, natural disasters, and world wars that significantly altered human society.

Other local museums to receive funding include:

Amherst County Museum & Historical Society (Amherst)

Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation (Blacksburg)

Blue Ridge PBS (Roanoke)

Christiansburg Institute, Inc. (Christiansburg)

Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest (Forest)

Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History (Danville)

Fayette Area Historical Initiative (Martinsville)

Historical Society of Western Virginia (Roanoke)

Legacy Museum of African American History (Lynchburg)

Local Colors of Western VA (Roanoke)

Lynchburg Museum Foundation (Lynchburg)

Montgomery Museum of Art & History (Christiansburg)

National D-Day Memorial (Bedford)

Patrick County Historical Society (Stuart)

Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation (Brookneal)

Radford Heritage Foundation, Glencoe Mansion (Radford)

Rockbridge Historical Society (Lexington)

Smithfield Preston Foundation (Blacksburg)

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