National Endowment for the Humanities awards $150K in disaster relief funds in response to Hurricane Ida

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021

NEW ORLEANS — To support the recovery of humanities-based organizations affected by Hurricane Ida, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $150,000 Chairman’s Award to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH). This award is in addition to $50,000 given by the NEH to the LEH in August in response to the May 2021 floods that impacted South Louisiana.

The awards will be combined and redistributed to humanities-based nonprofits affected by one or both disasters in the form of disaster relief and mitigation grants. Humanities organizations from the following parishes are eligible to apply:

Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.

The grant application period for 2021 Disaster Mitigation Grants opens November 15. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000. Examples of potential fund uses include but are not limited to facility repairs or upgrades to reduce vulnerability, facility risk and damage assessments, cleanup, remediation, basic institutional and operational costs, rental of temporary meeting space, staff training on planning/mitigation strategies, purchase of hazard mitigation equipment or other actions that can mitigate the effects of past or future natural disaster damage. Organizations reaching underserved populations are particularly encouraged to apply.

Forty thousand dollars of the latest Chairman’s Award will go toward disaster mitigation at the LEH’s historic headquarters at Turners’ Hall in downtown New Orleans, which sustained roof damage, water incursion, and a mold outbreak following Hurricane Ida. The LEH building, which dates to 1868 and was originally home to a German Turnverein (gymnastics social club), is on the National Register of Historic Places. In spring 2022 the LEH will open The Helis Foundation John Scott Center, a 6,000-square-foot arts and humanities programming space featuring over fifty works of art and dedicated to the life and legacy of New Orleans artist John Scott, on the ground floor of Turners’ Hall. A further $10,000 will go toward the production of a series of disaster response and emergency planning workshops, which will be held in the coming months.

“At LEH, we believe that every Louisiana community has important stories to tell and histories to preserve,” said Miranda Restovic, executive director and president of the LEH. “With this critical support, we are ready to respond quickly to the needs of the many organizations that preserve, promote and protect our state’s rich cultural heritage, providing critical funding for recovery and mitigation.”

Organizations interested in learning more about the 2021 Disaster Mitigation Grants are invited to attend a virtual information session on December 1 or 2. For additional details about eligibility, grant info sessions and the application process, or to apply, visit leh.org or the LEH’s Facebook (@LAHumanities), Instagram (@LAHumanities) or Twitter account (@LA_Humanities).

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all residents of the state. Guided by the vision that everyone can realize their full potential through the humanities, LEH partners with communities, institutions and individuals to provide grant-supported outreach programs, literacy initiatives for all ages, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, public lectures, library projects, 64 Parishes magazine and other diverse public humanities programming. For more information, visit vwww.leh.org.