More than $1 million in funding available to Indiana humanities organizations through pandemic-relief grants

Grants provided by Indiana Humanities with funds from American Rescue Plan Act

Grants provided by Indiana Humanities with funds from American Rescue Plan Act

Nonprofit organizations that provide public programming rooted in the humanities are invited to apply for COVID-19 pandemic-relief grants. Indiana Humanities is offering two types of grants: Operating Support Grants and Programming and Capacity-Building Grants. Funds will help support activities for Hoosiers in subjects such as history, literature, languages, linguistics, archaeology, philosophy, ethics, jurisprudence and comparative religion.

The Operating Support Grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of the organization, and applications are due July 31. Programming and Capacity-Building Grants are due Aug. 31, and requests can be up to $10,000. See below for more information.

Funding for the grants, which will be administered by Indiana Humanities, has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), with funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. Last year, Indiana Humanities provided more than $500,000 in similar grants to humanities organizations as part of CARES Act funding.

“Humanities organizations are part of the critical infrastructure of this country and are providing essential services and programs to support communities recovering from the pandemic,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We are grateful to the U.S. Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities for recognizing and providing this much-needed support, which will help essential community anchors and institutions strengthen their operations and enhance their programming. Our goal is to get these funds out across the state quickly and equitably, just as intended.”

Indiana Humanities ARP Operating Support Grants

Deadline: July 31

Amount: $5,000 to $20,000, depending on applicants’ annual operating budget

Eligibility: Only Indiana-based, tax-exempt organizations whose core mission is to provide public humanities programs may apply. This includes (but is not limited to): historical societies/heritage groups; museums with a humanities focus; historical homes and sites; college/university-affiliated humanities centers and institutes that provide public programs; and other nonprofits whose core mission centers on developing and implementing humanities programming.

Groups that do not offer regular humanities programming, as well as religious organizations, government agencies (including public libraries), K-12 schools and colleges and universities (with the exception of humanities centers/institutes), will be ineligible.

About: Indiana Humanities ARP Operating Support Grants are intended to provide organizations that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with funds for general operations. Demonstration of need is a key focus of the ARP Operating Support Grant application. In order to receive funds, the organization must show it has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and will use the funds to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from it.

Indiana Humanities ARP Programming and Capacity-Building Support Grants

Deadline: Aug. 31

Amount: Up to $10,000

Eligibility: Indiana-based, tax-exempt organizations. The organization’s core mission doesn’t necessarily have to focus on the humanities in order to receive one of these grants, but the grant-funded project should center on the humanities. If an organization seeks support for capacity building, it will need to explain how the funds will help it improve its efforts to provide humanities programming to the public.

About: Indiana Humanities ARP Programming and Capacity-Building Grants can be used for humanities-based programs that help an organization and its audiences prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus or for strategic- planning and capacity-building efforts related to preparing for, responding to and recovering from the coronavirus.

Examples of programs include: gathering and sharing oral histories about the impact of the coronavirus on the community; creating an exhibition and/or presentation series about past pandemics and how people have moved forward afterward; conducting reading and discussion programs that help participants to reflect upon the pandemic; and developing programs that help the organization reconnect to audiences or reach previously underserved audiences.

Strategic-planning and capacity-building funds could be used to hire consultants, engage experts or provide staff with training and development. The funds must be related specifically to the pandemic, however, and not for more general strategic planning and capacity building.

Other ideas for fund requests include: technical/consultant needs related to a digital transition in support of preservation and access programs; expansion, due to the effects of the coronavirus, of outdoor and virtual humanities programming and activities (from traditional environments to those that are more accessible); and equity assessments and planning related to the coronavirus and the economic crisis.

An informational webinar will be held on July 8 from 10 to 11 a.m. EDT. Virtual Q&A sessions will also be held on July 20 from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT, July 26 from 9 to 10 a.m. EDT, Aug. 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT, and Aug. 24 from 10 to 11 a.m. EDT. For more information and to register for the webinar or virtual Q&A sessions, visit Questions can be directed to George Hanlin, director of grants, at

Additional ARP funds from the National Endowment for the Arts for arts and cultural organizations will be available through the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.