Humanities Tennessee Announces CARES Act Grant Awards


Nonprofit organizations from Johnson City to Memphis in all nine Tennessee Congressional districts will receive more than $300,000 from Humanities Tennessee in the first round of CARES Act relief funding. The 64 recipient organizations provide public humanities programming in communities throughout Tennessee. The average award is $5,000.

Funding for these grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan appropriated by the U.S. Congress. Humanities Tennessee will re-grant a total of $550,000 to TN cultural organizations.

“Our goal is to fund as many organizations as we can as quickly as possible,” said Tim Henderson, Executive Director of Humanities Tennessee. “To achieve that goal, we are implementing two grant rounds. Our board is proud to have completed the first round of awards, knowing that every cultural organization in the state is challenged right now. We hope these funds will ease the difficulty of making payroll and other operating expenses in order to keep humanities programming strong for the future.”

First-round applicants had annual operating budgets from $5,000 to $39 million. The 64 grants awarded, of 78 applicants, averaged $5,000 each.

“Thank you for letting us know that we are being awarded $5,000 in CARES Act funding. Your notification was such a pleasant surprise in these uncertain times, and we can’t wait to put those funds to work re-creating our cultural museum presentations for schools. We truly appreciate your support,” said Ellen S. Gilbert, Director, Global Education Center.

Second round applications are being accepted through June 15, with awards to follow by the end of the month. For eligibility criteria, visit

“I would like to encourage every cultural organization across Tennessee to apply for a Humanities Tennessee CARES Act Grant,” said Lynn Alexander, Board Chair of Humanities Tennessee. “We have more than $230,000 to award in the second round this month. We want to support the essential work our humanities and cultural organizations provide across Tennessee.”

CARES Act grant funds do not require a match and support organizations that provide public programs examining and reflecting upon ideas, stories, history, arts, and culture.


Complete List of Round 1 Grant Recipients

Round 2 – Grant Application


Contact Information:

Sandy Obodzinski, Development & Communications Director

C: 615.948.9184        E: