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Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grants Announced, To Support Humanities Across IL

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2020
Contact: Ned Schaub,, 312-533-1514

New Illinois Humanities Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grants Announced
Will Support Humanities Organizations Across the State

CHICAGO, May 5, 2020 — Illinois Humanities announced today it will award 24 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants, totaling $60,000. The purpose of these general operating (non-project) grants is to help smaller humanities organizations throughout Illinois to weather the current pandemic.

“Especially in this moment of duress, Illinois Humanities is proud to support not-for-profit organizations that promote the importance of the humanities in private and public life and that inspire collective action and hope,” said Illinois Humanities Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon, PhD. “These champions of the humanities make their communities and our whole state more vibrant.”

The 24 Illinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants are meant to help humanities organizations with budgets of $300,000 or less that are based in Illinois but outside the city of Chicago. Applicants were ranked by commitment to the humanities, budget size and location, statement of need, and the actions groups are taking to confront the programmatic and financial challenges being inflicted by the pandemic.

The grants represent the first of three rounds of COVID-19 emergency relief grants that Illinois Humanities will make between now and the close of October. The next two rounds of grants are also meant to help alleviate stress on Illinois humanities organizations. In addition to more general operating support, grants will be made that support innovation, adaption, and strengthening access to programming. They will also be awarded for projects that make community experiences during the pandemic visible and that highlight resiliency throughout the state. These next two rounds are made possible by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) allocations to the National Endowment for the Humanities. Click here to learn more.

The 24 organizations funded in this round include:

·      1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House (Edwardsville)

·      Aurora Historical Society (Aurora)

·      Bishop Hill Heritage Association (Bishop Hill)

·      David Davis Mansion Foundation (Bloomington)

·      DeKalb County History Center (Sycamore)

·      Ethnic Heritage Museum (Rockford)

·      Gallatin County Historical Society (Shawneetown)

·      Gen. John A. Logan Museum (Murphysboro)

·      Glidden Homestead and Historical Center (DeKalb)

·      The Hub Arts and Cultural Center (Rushville)

·      Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities (East St. Louis)

·      LaSalle County Historical Society (Utica)

·      Livingston County Historical Society (Pontiac)

·      Midwest Writing Center (Rock Island)

·      Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (Evanston)

·      Old School Museum (Winchester)

·      P.A.S.T. of Union County (Jonesboro)

·      Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home (Dixon)

·      Shabbona-Lee-Rollo Historical Museum (Shabbona)

·      St. Clair County Historical Society (Belleville)

·      Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (Urbana)

·      Washington County Historical Society (Nashville, Ill.)

·      Western Illinois Museum (Macomb)

·      Williamson County Historical Society (Marion)


Illinois Humanities has a number of other grants offerings available in 2020, in addition to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants. Upcoming Community Grants program deadlines are May 15th and September 15th. The next deadline for “Activate History” microgrants is Sept. 1st. There will also be statewide grants offerings as part of the “Envisioning Justice” initiative, with deadlines on August 15th and October 15th. Click here to learn more about the grants programs.


About Illinois Humanities
Illinois Humanities activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement. Illinois Humanities is a nonprofit organization and the state’s affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ILHumanities.