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Pennsylvania Humanities Council is offering up to $20,000 in flexible funding — but you have to act fast

September 22, 2021 Category: FeaturedFundingShort
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) and other regional humanities councils are distributing funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ SHARP (Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan) program. But applicants must act fast — the deadline is October 1.

The $1.2 million program provides up to $20,000 in flexible funding.

Laurie Zierer, executive director of PHC, said this legislation recognizes both the financial realities of the on-going pandemic recovery and the vital importance of the humanities to economic and civic life.

Laurie Zierer. (Courtesy photo)

“PA SHARP was created in response to the pandemic to help with the growth and recovery of the humanities in PA,” Zierer said. “The program will support the vital work of our state’s resilient cultural sector and also build a statewide learning network of people passionate about creating inclusive, engaged communities and ready to lead the statewide recovery alongside PHC.”

PHC strives to distribute funding equitably across the state and seeks to grow a state-wide network of people and organizations that value and practice the humanities.

To be eligible for PA SHARP grants, organizations must be a certified 501(c)(3) in the state of Pennsylvania and serve a Pennsylvania audience. Organizations must have the equivalent of at least one full-time paid employee and have been in operation for at least one year. Accredited institutions of higher education and state and local government agencies are also eligible. Grant funds can be used for general operating support or in support of a humanities-based program.

“We’re looking to broaden the pool of applicants for PA SHARP beyond just traditional humanities organizations to include organizations that do humanities work. We’re also encouraging first time applicants and small to medium-sized organizations to apply,” Zierer said. “We are especially interested in working with organizations that consciously, through their actions, work to build an understanding of their community and intentionally develop programs with them and their interests, assets, and identities in mind.”

From our Partners

In 2020, PHC responded by reallocating its program funding for emergency support through Pop-Up Grants for Cultural Producers and then later distributed an additional $780,500 through PHC CARES, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

Awards will be announced in December, with funds distributed before December 31.


For grant guidelines and a preview application, visit


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