Happy Ending


Opportunity knocked and the Switzerland County Historical Society answered!

Via email, we became aware of a grant to assist not-for-profit organizations who provide public humanities programming and were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 situation, so we applied. Weeks passed and then we received the hoped for response.

“I’m writing with the good news that Indiana Humanities is awarding you an Indiana Humanities CARES Grant. The application pool was incredibly competitive, and we were able to fund only about 40 percent of the requests. We had to make difficult decisions and weren’t able to fund many deserving organizations—so the fact that you received a grant is a testament to the good work that you do in your community. Congratulations!”

Awards range from $1,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the organization's budget. Organizations in the 6th Congressional District will receive a total of $87,500. The Switzerland County Historical Society will be receiving $5,000!

 “The CARES Act includes provisions to help small businesses and Hoosiers in many industries, including those employed by public humanities such as cultural sites, libraries, and museums. The funds appropriated for Indiana Humanities CARES Grants will help support these programs through this difficult time,” said Senator Mike Braun.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) provided the funding to Indiana Humanities as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan appropriated by the U.S. Congress. More than $500,000 in funding relief was provided to Indiana humanities organizations through CARES Grants.

“We are pleased to have awarded grants to groups large and small, carrying out a variety of programming, in each congressional district and in 48 of our 92 counties,” said Doran Moreland, Indiana Humanities board chair. “Because of the immense need we had to turn down many organizations that are doing good work, including some of our close partners. The grant committees put great care into the review, weighing a number of factors such as public humanities focus, need, audiences served, and geography.”

“These CARES grants will help meet immediate needs at cultural institutions around the state, allowing Indiana museums, archives, libraries and historical societies to maintain vital operations,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “Thank you to Indiana Humanities for their swift and judicious distribution of CARES Act funding to the many humanities organizations suffering financial distress during the pandemic.”

In a previous column we shared the financial predicament we were facing due to the impending loss of $5,000 in county funds as the County Council was faced with striving to manage on a tragically reduced income due to Belterra currently being closed. We were also losing donations by not being able to have the museums open and the need to cancel income producing events.

As museum director I wrote, “Challenging times. How we respond becomes part of our history. Help make this story have a happy ending.”

We have an amazing community. From online donations, checks in the mail and cash, we have received $2,705. THANK YOU to each and every participant in this story! You have definitely provided a happy ending, even though the story isn’t over yet.