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National Endowment for Humanities awards nearly $3M to Michigan cultural institutions

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Nearly $3 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities were awarded to 10 cultural institutions and colleges across Michigan on Monday to help with COVID-19 recovery.

The grants are part of the NEH's $87.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding. Grants were awarded to nearly 300 cultural and educational institutions across the country to help them recover from the pandemic's economic impact; retain and rehire workers; and reopen facilities and restart programming.

In Michigan, grants went to cultural institutions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, along with some colleges.

The Detroit Institute of Arts.

The biggest grant, $1 million, went to the Association for Asian Studies Inc. in Ann Arbor to "provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic to Asian studies professionals to conduct humanities research, teaching development, and multimedia projects," according to a press release.

In Detroit, the DIA received a nearly $500,000 grant for a project called DIA Digital and Analog Access to Art. The money will go toward retaining 21 positions to develop and implement new K–12 educational outreach programs "necessitated by the pandemic," according to a press release.

ACCESS in Dearborn received a $200,000 grant toward rehiring a community history specialist, who would work full-time on the Arab American National Museum’s oral history collection project. It will also partially fund six other staff positions, including the director, research and content manager, curatorial specialist, curator of exhibits, librarian, and multimedia specialist, who'd work part-time.

“The American Rescue Plan recognizes that the cultural and educational sectors are essential components of the United States economy and civic life, vital to the health and resilience of American communities,” said NEH Acting Chairman Adam Wolfson in a  release. “These new grants will provide a lifeline to the country’s colleges and universities, museums, libraries, archives, historical sites and societies, save thousands of jobs in the humanities placed at risk by the pandemic, and help bring economic recovery to cultural and educational institutions and those they serve.”  

The Holocaust Memorial Center will use its $200,000 grant to resume in-person tours and workshops at its education center.