2021 Relief Grants

In December 2021, Humanities Texas awarded over $2.3M in emergency funding to 263 Texas cultural and educational nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our 2021 Relief Grants were made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Relief Grant recipients include museums, libraries, preservation organizations and heritage and cultural centers in 145 towns and cities across the state. These organizations administer humanities programs that have significant impact within their communities. 

Of the recipients, two-thirds had annual budgets of less than $300,000. Nearly half of the grants went to organizations in communities of 50,000 people or fewer. 

This was Humanities Texas's second round of COVID-19 pandemic relief grants, the first of which we awarded through the CARES Act in spring 2020.

Relief Grants were available for both general operating support and humanities programming. Funding will enable recipients to pay general operating costs, retain staff, shift in-person programming to online, and make resources available to those who depend on them for education and connection.  A complete list of recipients is available for download.  

Administering Your Relief Grant 

Grant Agreement 

Your grant agreement is attached to the email you received announcing your award. Review it carefully, confirming the grant period, the payment and reporting terms, and the administrative requirements. Have the project’s Authorizing Official and Fiscal Officer sign the grant agreement and return it to Humanities Texas within fifteen days of receipt. Signed grant agreements can be accepted via mail (1410 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701) or email ( E-signatures are accepted. Keep a copy for your records.


Humanities Texas will disburse Relief Grant funds to sponsoring organizations in a single payment, made upon our receipt of the signed Grant Agreement but not before the beginning date of the grant period. No payments can be issued until the signed Grant Agreement is received.

Grant Period 

All expenditures must occur within the grant period listed in your Grant Agreement. Please be in touch with Humanities Texas staff should you need to adjust your grant period. Your end date may be no later than December 31, 2022.

Acknowledgment of Support 

Recipients of Humanities Texas grant funds must acknowledge Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities as donors in their current fiscal year in all printed and electronic materials, including advertisements and publicity materials, and whenever written or verbal presentations are made. Here are several options for credit lines:

"Funding for these grants has been provided by Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the federal ARP Act."

"Funding has been provided to [grantee] from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021." 

"This program is made possible with funding from Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the federal ARP Act."

Please remember to also include the Humanities Texas logo, the NEH federal seal, and the disclaimer language applicable to all NEH-funded projects, events, and grants: "All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (exhibition) do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Further information about acknowledging NEH support  is available on the NEH website. The  Humanities Texas logo  and  NEH logo  are both available for download. Please be in touch with Humanities Texas staff should you have any questions.

Changes to Your Plans 

Significant changes to the use of Relief Grant funds as outlined in your application require prior approval by Humanities Texas staff. Changes that violate funding guidelines will not be approved. Please be in touch with our grants staff to discuss any questions

Staying in Touch 

Humanities Texas staff will be in touch periodically over the course of your grant period with administrative reminders and requests for updates on your work.

Final Report 

Complete and submit  the Relief Grant final report form  within 90 days of the end of your grant period. 


Please direct questions about Relief Grants to Humanities Texas grants staff at


Eligible for Funding

Eligibility was limited to Texas-based nonprofit organizations (as reported to the IRS and with an existing EIN), accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education (as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001), state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. Applicants must have a DUNS number and offer public humanities programming. 

Our 2021 Relief Grants could cover operations and programming expenses related to COVID-19 pandemic recovery at humanities-focused organizations—that is, organizations that make humanities research, education, and programming a major part of their work. Organizations that were not humanities focused but did offer public humanities programming could request 2021 Relief Grant support only for costs related to the administration of their humanities programs. 

Not Eligible for Funding

  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Organizations not based in Texas

Guidelines and Forms

The 2021 Relief Grant guidelines, FAQ, and evaluation rubric used are included in printable form below for reference. Contact our staff if you would like us to send you paper copies of any of the files available here.

How to Apply

The 2021 Relief Grant application closed on September 3, 2021.

How Funding Decisions Were Made

Humanities Texas assembled a diverse review committee of scholars and public humanities professionals. Proposals were assessed according to the following evaluation rubric.

Humanities Texas evaluated applications for the 2021 Relief Grants on the strength of the applicant organization's humanities mission and programming, the audiences the organization serves, a clear demonstration of need, and the presentation of a plan to fully and thoughtfully use Relief Grant support to respond to or recover from the pandemic. Humanities Texas gave special consideration to organizations in traditionally underserved areas of the state, organizations that have not been consistently served by Humanities Texas, and organizations with limited funding and staff.

Distribution of 2021 Relief Grant recipients.