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Federal CARES Act Money Routed To Humanities Orgs In Washington

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Humanities Washington
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Federal coronavirus aid has helped hundreds of Northwest businesses. But some of it is also being funneled to non-profit arts and humanities organizations that have had to postpone events.

Humanities Washington is the organization in the Evergreen State that distributes money from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its CEO is Julie Ziegler.

“We knew early on with the coronavirus pandemic that cultural organizations were going to be hit really hard without much notice. Many of them were forced to close their doors, in some cases, lay off staff. It’s a key source of income. Revenue from tickets and admission, that just dried up," Ziegler said.

Humanities Washington allowed organizations to apply for grants, $2,500-5,000.

“This is general operating support, unrestricted support that they can use for staffing, for rent, for electric bills," she said.

To ensure groups in all parts of the state would benefit, Ziegler says the organization split money evenly between Washington’s 10 congressional districts. About 10 eastern Washington organizations are collecting checks, including the Methow Valley Interpretive Center in Twisp, where David LaFever is the education outreach director. He says the organization had to cancel a major fundraising event in late March.

“With the CARES Act coming through to us via the Humanities Washington relief grant, it really helped us, not only helping us to stay afloat, but also helping us expand a little bit," LaFever said.

Ziegler says there is still grant money available. She says Humanities Washington will continue to accept applications through the month of May.