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Second Responders: The Humanities in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

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Second Responders: The Humanities in the Aftermath of  Natural  Disasters


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is providing $30,000 in funding to California Humanities through a Chairman’s Award.

Chairman Jon Parrish Peede announced on Monday, July 8, 2019 that the funds will be re-granted through Humanities for All to preserve heritage, tell stories, and support recovery at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions in California. This will be matched with another $30,000 by California Humanities.
During 2018, California experienced 12 states of emergency due to wildfire and flooding. From the Camp Fire in Butte County to mudslides in Montecito, communities throughout our state were deeply impacted. For many of the people affected, these events continue to take an emotional toll.

Oral history exhibits, digital storytelling and writing workshops, documentary photography exhibits, and dramatic presentations of personal stories are proven ways by which individuals and communities can find meaning, make sense of traumatic experiences, and discover common purpose.

To respond to this growing need, California Humanities is designating a new focus area for our public humanities grant program Humanities for All. With Second Responders: The Humanities in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters, California Humanities wants to assist California communities in recovering and healing from natural disasters (such as wildfires, floods, and mudslides) and to raise awareness on the part of all Californians about the challenges affected individuals and communities face through public humanities programming. If your project will focus around the collection, sharing, and discussion of stories and experiences of community members affected by recent natural disasters (within the 2014-2019 period), you may apply for special consideration under this designation. This designation is available for upcoming grant applications, starting with the summer 2019 round of Humanities for All Project Grants.

Project Grants ($10,000 to $20,000) will be awarded twice a year for larger public humanities projects of up to two-years duration from the award date. Appropriate programming formats include but are not limited to interpretive exhibits, community dialogue and discussion series, workshops and participatory activities, presentations and lectures, conversations and forums, and interactive and experiential activities. Eligibility is limited to California-based nonprofit organizations and non-federal public agencies. Note: Awards must be matched with an equivalent amount of cash or in-kind resources over the life of the project.

The application window for August 2019 deadline has now closed. Awards will be announced in December. The Next anticipated deadline will be February 2020. Updated guidelines and other information will be available in December.

Please join our mailing list to get updates on guideline release and application webinar dates. Note: Updated guidelines and other information will be made available approximately two months before each deadline.

In the meantime, you are welcome to review the material currently available by clicking on the links below. Please keep in mind that guidelines and requirements may change from round to round.