Humanities Texas has been closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 across our state and nation and around the globe. Here in Austin, my colleagues and I are now working remotely, having taken recommended precautions to protect staff, our families, and our constituents, and to do our part to help slow community spread of the virus.
COVID-19 notwithstanding, Humanities Texas remains open for business and committed to our organizational mission—improving the quality of classroom teaching, supporting libraries and museums, and creating opportunities for lifelong learning in the humanities throughout the state.
We plan to raise our online profile over the next few weeks, highlighting specific resources for teachers, libraries, and museums that will be especially meaningful in this moment and sharing readings and other humanities resources recommended by staff and friends of the organization.
Our phone lines remain open during business hours. If you need to reach a member of staff, please call our main line at 512.440.1991. Our website includes up-to-date information about all of our programs. You’re also welcome to email individual staff members directly, or to use our program-specific emails with general queries about grants, exhibitions, teacher institutes, Outstanding Teaching Awards, or development.
With the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will receive $75 million in supplemental funding to assist cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Approximately 40 percent of the appropriation, or $30 million, will go directly to the 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils to provide direct support to local cultural nonprofits and educational programs. We will provide more information about how CARES Act funds will be distributed through Humanities Texas as details become available.
Finally, we are grateful for your continued support of Humanities Texas and of each other. In a recent note to our board of directors, board chair Chase Untermeyer concluded his remarks, "In this uncertain time, one thing is certain: We need the humanities as much as ever!"
I heartily concur. On behalf of Humanities Texas, I send best wishes to you and your families. My colleagues and I look forward to supporting your continued efforts to promote humanities education in your communities.