Wisconsin Humanities Recovery Grants

Wisconsin Humanities Recovery Grants help our state prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the pandemic. Funding for these grants is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Our Funding Priorities:

  • To support cultural organizations that provide humanities programming and that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic
  • To assist organizations in all regions of Wisconsin

$343,877 will be awarded in the second and final grant round.

Organizations offering humanities programs that reach underserved audiences are strongly encouraged to apply.

*Organizations that received a WH Recovery Grant in August 2021 may NOT apply.

Deadline October 15, 2021. The application will open in the grant portal on September 15, 2021.

How To Apply


The Grants

Grants of $2,000-$20,000 are available for organizations across Wisconsin that have been impacted by the pandemic and that provide humanities programming to the public. All grant funds requested must help organizations’ humanities-related efforts to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.

All eligible organizations are welcome to apply. Organizations offering humanities programs that reach underserved audiences are strongly encouraged to apply. These audiences include Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

No matching funds are required.

Organizations for whom the humanities are central to their mission, such as libraries, museums, historical societies, and higher education institutions, may request support for any of the following expenses:

  • general operating expenses. This includes include expenses such as salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and equipment. For detailed instructions about your budget and eligible expenses, see How To Apply. Funding for general operating expenses may be requested for the period of the award date to October 31, 2022.
  • humanities programming. This includes expenses like honoraria for humanities experts, consultants’ fees, printing and publicity, and facility rental. Equipment expenses must be less than 20% of the total request. For detailed instructions about your budget and eligible expenses, see How To Apply.
  • strategic planning and capacity building
  • digital transition or in support of preservation and access programs
  • expansion of outdoor and virtual humanities programming and activities
  • equity assessments and planning related to the coronavirus and the economic crisis

Organizations whose mission falls outside the humanities, such as arts organizations and civic associations, may apply for humanities-related expenses for all of the above activities EXCEPT general operating expenses.

NOTE: Organizations seeking funds only for humanities programming may also consider applying at one of WH’s Mini or Major grant deadlines.



To be eligible for a Wisconsin Humanities Recovery Grant, an organization must:

  • Provide humanities programming to the public (We have defined the humanities here.)
  • Be a nonprofit organization as reported to the IRS and with an existing EIN (check your IRS status here), be an accredited public or 501(c)(3) institution of higher education (as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001), be a state or local governmental agency, or be a federally recognized Native American tribal government
  • Be physically located in Wisconsin and have Wisconsin residents as its primary audience
  • Be impacted by the pandemic

Not eligible for funding

  • Organizations that previously received a Wisconsin Humanities Recovery Grant in any amount
  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations
  • Organizations that do not offer humanities programming
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Organizations acting solely as fiscal receiver for grant funds that would be expended by a different organization or an ad hoc group (except in the case of humanities organizations attached to a state, municipal or tribal government acting as fiscal agent)

Deadlines and Application Process

  • Applications must be submitted to our online portal by October 15, 2021 for funds to be expended by October 31, 2022. Decisions will be announced by November 30, 2021.
  • See How to Apply to use our online portal to apply for funding.
  • In the interest of speed, WH staff are not able to review drafts of Wisconsin Humanities Recovery Grant applications. Please be sure to read the FAQ. Additional questions about the application may be directed to Meg Turville-Heitz.
  • Have questions about the WH Recovery Grants, or our regular grant program? An online information session will be held September 21, 3-4 pm. There will be an opportunity at the session for questions and answers in Spanish. Register here.
  • Additionally, grant program director Meg Turville-Heitz will hold online “drop in” office hours from 3-5 pm Sept. 30. Email her for a Zoom invitation.