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Mass Humanities Announces Recipients of SHARP Grants for COVID Response

Funding made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities

(Northampton, MA - October 7, 2021 ) Mass Humanities has announced grants to 90 organizations across Massachusetts to support the response and recovery of the cultural sector from the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus. Totaling almost $1 million, the “Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP)” grants were made possible through funding provided to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by the American Rescue Plan.

As the state affiliate of NEH, Mass Humanities sought to provide emergency funding to the smallest organizations, including local museums, historical societies, and historic sites. More than half of the SHARP recipients have budgets of $300,000 or less. 

“The SHARP grants are another significant step in the journey to sustain the humanities at the local level,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “As we continue to combat COVID-19, these funds will save jobs, build capacity, and allow organizations to develop new programs to serve their communities.” 

Mass Humanities received requests for funding from more than 140 organizations. Grants of up to $15,000 were awarded to retain or recruit staff, replace lost revenue, and rebuild audiences. The SHARP grants conclude a year in which Mass Humanities awarded more than $1.7 million to 240 organizations around the state.

“As one of the authors of the American Rescue Plan, I am thrilled to see the great work that Mass Humanities is doing to fulfill our vision of getting these funds out to businesses and cultural institutions who suffered greatly – through no fault of their own – from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “The First Congressional District is home to countless organizations that provide resources for the study of art, language, literature, philosophy, history, and so much more. These grants are imperative to their recovery and economic success. I am proud of my work championing these funds in Congress and will continue to do so in my tenure.”

A total of $118,383 was awarded to 11 cultural organizations in the 1st Congressional District:

For a full list of grantees, click here.

The humanities organizations that are located in communities dispersed through Massachusetts have been a beacon of comfort and solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic. While society continues to recover from and navigate through the pandemic’s impact, Mass Humanities has been privileged to share this opportunity with so many organizations. 

“The pandemic presented a great financial burden for many humanities organizations, particularly those already facing disproportionate economic and racial inequities,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “These grants will assist organizations throughout Massachusetts in moving forward to continue their mission and the impressive work they do in their communities.”

Organizations interested in learning about future grants should follow Mass Humanities on social media @masshumanities and visit their website.