Alabama Humanities Alliance awards $800,000 to 83 cultural organizations

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Recipients in Auburn, Opelika, Loachapoka

Contributed by AHA

The Alabama Humanities Alliance has awarded $800,000 in one-time funding to 83 humanities-based nonprofits across the state. These grants supply much-needed support to many of Alabama’s most cherished cultural landmarks and community resources as they continue to recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Auburn University’s Encyclopedia of Alabama, the Lee County Historical Society in Loachapoka and Opelika’s Museum of East Alabama were all named recipients of the grants.

Alabama Humanities Recovery Grants are funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Alabama Humanities Alliance made the funding available through a competitive grant process, inviting Alabama-based nonprofits with a demonstrated commitment to public humanities programming.

Grant winners include museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, literacy groups, civic engagement organizations and more. Many are treasured institutions that serve as unifying gathering spots for their communities and provide invaluable resources for all Alabamians.

“Robust cultural organizations make Alabama a richer, smarter and more vibrant place to live and learn,” said Chuck Holmes, AHA’s executive director. “These grants will sustain the humanities in our communities and contribute to the state’s economic recovery in the months ahead.”

The Alabama Humanities Alliance received a total of 125 applicants for these grants.

“It’s clear from the huge interest we saw in these grants that many of Alabama’s cultural organizations remain on tenuous financial ground due to the effects of the pandemic,” said Graydon Rust, AHA’s grants director. “Over the past year and a half, they’ve lost a lot of their usual streams of revenue and have had more limited engagement with the communities they typically serve.”

Alabama Humanities Recovery Grants will help these nonprofits recover financially and look strategically to the future. Grants were awarded in amounts of $5,000 to $15,000 and were distributed to all corners of the state. In all, organizations in 46 cities, 32 counties and all seven congressional districts received a grant. The funding can be used for staff salaries, humanities programming, capacity-building efforts, operational and marketing expenses and more.

Meeting the need

In the past two years, the Alabama Humanities Alliance has now distributed $1.3 million in 162 grants statewide, using federal funds through the CARES ACT in 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. These one-off grant opportunities are provided in addition to AHA’s own quarterly grants that support humanities-based projects, including workshops, exhibitions, festivals, documentaries and more.

To learn more about AHA grant opportunities, visit alabamahumanities.org/grants.

About the Alabama Humanities Alliance

The Alabama Humanities Alliance is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our mission is to foster learning, understanding and appreciation of Alabama’s people, communities and cultures. The ultimate goal: To use the humanities to bring Alabamians together and make our state a better place to live. Learn more at alabamahumanities.org.

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