Area organizations receive CARES funding

LANSING — Organizations in Berrien and Cass counties recently received an extra boost of funding.
Michigan Humanities is recently announced $661,085 in emergency CARES Act funding to 116 Michigan cultural and community organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency Grants (MI H.O.P.E.) of up to $10,000 provided general operating support, with an emphasis on maintaining personnel, in 53 counties across Michigan.

“We strive to be a pillar of support for organizations around the state to be able to do their humanities work,” said Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, president and CEO of Michigan Humanities. “We’re proud of how efficiently we were able to disburse the CARES Act funding across the state and how broadly we were able to grant these emergency dollars to so many of the cultural and humanities organizations of Michigan.”

In Cass County, the Dowagiac Area History Museum and the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County received $10,000, while the Marcellus Township Wood Memorial Library received $7,500.

In Berrien County, $5,000 went to the Berrien County Historical Association, Eau Claire District Library, Maud Preston Palenske Library and Berrien Springs Community Library. Long Haul Productions and the Heritage Museum and Cultural center received $7,500.

Through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, MI H.O.P.E. Grants were available to museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, and other humanities-focused nonprofits in Michigan and could be used for eligible general operating support expenses impacted by the pandemic, including salaries and fringe benefits, rent and mortgage payments and utilities.

“Small historical societies play an important role in protecting and preserving the historical record and interpreting the past to the public. Many of these societies, like ours, are tiny, underfunded, and understaffed,” said Cindy Willson, membership director and grant coordinator at Millington-Arbela Historical Society. “Some will not survive this pandemic, losing precious local artifacts and local culture. However, with the funds provided by the H.O.P.E. grant, we will be able to keep the doors open, paying basic core operating expenses like water, electricity, heat and building insurance.”

A total of 306 applications were received, with a total of $2.5 million in requests. The full list of grant recipients by county can be found below. Applications were open April and May, and reviewed on a weekly basis to ensure grantees received funding within two weeks of application. All payments have been disbursed.

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