Public Humanities Recovery Grant

Ohio Humanities is making $150,000 available for a special grant opportunity to support public humanities organizations seeking to serve public audiences in 2021. Recovery Grant applications will be accepted at the next two quarterly grant deadlines, March 26 and June 7. Funds should be used to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on public humanities organizations. The Recovery Grant program seeks to maximize sustaining support while assuring that Ohioans continue to experience the humanities.

What: Public Humanities Recovery Grant

Who: Non-profit organizations with a public humanities mission and $1.5 million or less in humanities revenue
How much: Up to $7,500
When: Grant availability announced on Monday, February 22
Grant Application Deadlines
  • March 26 (drafts by March 8) with project start dates after May 17, 2021
  • June 7 (drafts by May 10) with project start dates after August 15, 2021

Ohio Humanities is seeking to support public humanities outcomes. A grant-supported project may include one or more of the following: 
  • Provides a humanities public event such as a lecture or conversation in-person or virtually. 
  • Provides access to materials in an archive via digital means. 
    • Collections management costs are eligible if the materials are posted online for public consumption. Online material must include an interpretive framework and be suitable for widespread publicity. The application should include a summary of the interpretive framework.
  • Provides ways to visit a site while maintaining physical distancing.
    • For example, developing and placing signage on museum property or developing self-guided tours.  
  • Provides updated and better-interpreted exhibitions.
    • This may include reconfiguring exhibition space to ensure safety and improve accessibility to artifacts and interpretative content. 
  • Provides an opportunity for a facilitated discussion of a humanities text, such as narrative nonfiction, literary fiction, essays, film, or poetry.

Further Details

To establish eligibility, apply the rule that best fits your organization:

  • Option 1: If your organization separates for budgeting purposes the revenue of divisions that fit the humanities definition in the Ohio Humanities general guidelines, use that figure to establish eligibility. 
  • Option 2: If revenue and budgeting is not separate, but you are able to provide an attendance figure that can identify humanities and non-humanities divisions. Take the percentage of overall revenue that is equal to the percentage of attendance that visits or experiences humanities programming. 
  • Option 3: If your organization aligns with the Ohio Humanities definition of a humanities organization and the annual revenue of your organization is less than $1.5 million dollars, then the organization is eligible.

The Public Humanities Recovery Grant follows the general Ohio Humanities grant guidelines and application processes and aligns with the quarterly grant cycle for the spring and summer of 2021 only. An organization may have only one grant at a time open with Ohio Humanities. Organizations that received a CARES I or II grant must submit a final report before applying for this grant. 

These grants require a dollar-for-dollar match (cash and/or in-kind cost-share) as normally required for an Ohio Humanities grant. The organization must involve humanities professionals in the public humanities activities and be able to identify those individuals in the grant application. 

PHRG grant will apply the following adjustments to the Ohio Humanities general grant guidelines:  

  1. Caps on the percentage of grant funds requested for technical staff, equipment, and indirect costs currently present in the Ohio Humanities guidelines are waived. 
    1. Ohio Humanities will cover indirect costs in alignment with an organization’s Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). If an organization does not have a NICRA, the minimum rate for indirect cost recovery will be set at 10%. 
  2. Organizations may request grant funds to support staff salaries. 
    1. Any staff costs must support public-facing humanities activities. 
  3. The activities funded by the grant do not need to be new and different from the normal activities that the organization carries out, but must be public humanities activities. 
    1. Costs for collections activities for internal purposes such as to improve or change storage conditions, such as new boxes, folders, or storage cabinets, are not eligible. 
  4. As a result of recent NEH guidance, writing projects such as fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, or poetry are not eligible activities.  
  5. No external evaluator is required for Public Humanities Recovery Grants.

To assist with your application preparation, please download the Project Narrative Worksheet and the Budget Worksheet.


**Note that the title of your project should be: Recovery Grant: organization name.**


Step 1

Please begin by filling out the Contact Form so that a member of the Ohio Humanities staff can follow up to discuss your project.

Ohio Humanities staff hosted a webinar on Friday, March 5 to provide an introduction to the program for organizations interested in applying for a Recovery Grant. You can watch a recording of the webinar HERE and view slides from the webinar HERE.


March 26 (drafts by March 8) for projects with start dates after May 17, 2021

June 7 (drafts by May 10) for projects with start dates after August 15, 2021