September 13, 2022
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CT Humanities Accepting Applications for Second Round of CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants, Provides Additional $8.5M to Cultural Sector
Middletown, CT — This fall, CT Humanities will distribute $8.5 million in CT Cultural Fund (CCF) Operating Support Grant awards, ranging in size from $5,000 to $250,000. The application period for these non-competitive general operating support grants opened earlier this month.
The grants are for museums and 501(c)(3) nonprofit, municipal, Connecticut state, or Connecticut-based federally or state recognized tribal organizations that provide public cultural-, humanities-, and arts-based projects and activities. These included museums, historic houses, historical societies, arts organizations, cultural centers, and other organizations that offer activities such as exhibitions, performances, art classes, public programs, or walking tours to the public).
CCF Operating Support Grants are part of $30.7M of support allocated to CTH in the state’s FY22 budget by the CT General Assembly and approved by Governor Ned Lamont. In December 2021, CT Humanities awarded more than $16.6M to 641 nonprofit museums and cultural, humanities, and arts organizations.
Donna Baron, museum director at the Lebanon Historical Society, says, “Like many small-town heritage organizations, the pandemic years saw Lebanon Historical Society’s audience and volunteer base dwindle. Our dedicated and hardworking staff and board needed help addressing these issues on top of ongoing responsibilities and commitments. Our CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant gave us a new energy burst.”
As with the previous round of operating support grants, the CCF grants help the state’s museums, cultural, humanities, and arts organizations maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public. Additional goals are to connect K-12 teachers and students to strong humanities and arts content and improve cultural institutions’ information technology and digital infrastructure.
The $18,500 awarded to the Lebanon Historical Society has meant improved online communications, recruitment and training of new museum education volunteers, and outreach to form new alliances and reach new audiences. “Our grant allowed us to hire a part-time community outreach coordinator with the charge to better connect with our members, build our volunteer base, and assist our membership committee with engaging new members,” says Baron.
“CT Humanities is proud to facilitate this historic state investment in our cultural infrastructure. We are at a pivotal moment in our history, and public humanities and arts provide the ties that bind us as a society,” says Dr. Jason Mancini, executive director at CT Humanities.
CT Humanities determines award amounts utilizing a formula based on an organization’s budget size and considering other sources of state support. Mancini states, “We have prioritized access and equity in distributing these public dollars and, in doing so, created a trusted and streamlined granting process. CT Humanities’ staff and partner organizations have worked diligently to get the word out about the opportunity and to provide guidance and support to our cultural organizations – the result is funding distributed to a diverse pool of nonprofit cultural institutions across the state,” Mancini adds.
In collaboration with the CT Office of the Arts, the CT League of History Organizations, the CT Arts Alliance, and the state’s Designated Regional Service Organizations, CTH plans several informational sessions to assist organizations in understanding eligibility and the application process. Find more details on the CT Humanities website.
The CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants are administered by CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.
“In submitting our grant application, we did not realize how much the funding – and the positive energy it generated – could affect our historical society, its museums, and our community,” notes Baron. “Thanks to the legislators supporting the CT Cultural Fund, and to Connecticut Humanities and the Connecticut Office of the Arts for providing us the opportunity to assure our continued impact in our community,” she added.
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Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. State and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources support CTH projects, administration, and program development. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org.
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) is the state agency that fosters the health of Connecticut’s creative economy. Part of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, the COA is funded by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Arts.