ARCADIA — The DeSoto County Historical Society was recently awarded a grant for COVID-19 recovery assistance.
To help support general operating costs, the local nonprofit received a $3,500 grant from Florida Humanities, a statewide affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
During the pandemic, the Historical Society had canceled multiple events, including the annual Pioneer Day, monthly meetings, and more.
The Society’s Museum and Research Library was also closed to the public for more than year.
Despite not having these sources of income, the group still had bills to pay, representatives wrote in a press release.
“The pandemic has affected our budget, and we’re not quite as visible in the community as we were before,” said Vernon Keen, Historical Society president. “We’re still here and working to preserve our history. We want to attract new members and support from the community.
“The American Rescue Plan grant will help us recover and move forward.”
The NEH received $135 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was approved by Congress last spring.
The state humanities councils, including Florida Humanities, each received a portion of the NEH award to support museums, archives, historic sites and other humanities-focused nonprofits.
The DeSoto County Historical Society was one of 129 organizations in Florida that was awarded ARP funding totaling $1.88 million from Florida Humanities.
The grants are intended to meet immediate operational needs in order for organizations to remain viable and maintain delivery of public humanities programming and resources in their communities.
Florida Humanities received 188 applications for ARP funding, with nonprofits requesting the most funds for staffing and utilities.
Florida Humanities Executive Director Nashid Madyun said the funds will provide a safety net for organizations so they can focus on other priorities like fundraising and creating programming.
“For smaller nonprofits, when bills are paid and staff are safe and intact, that type of alleviation is immeasurable,” Madyun said.
“Florida Humanities is honored to provide a lifeline to our state’s cultural and historic organizations,” he added, “ensuring they continue to enrich their local communities, and the Sunshine State at large, for years to come.”
Founded in 1987, the DeSoto County Historical Society is a 501©(3) not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization, dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of DeSoto County.
For more information about the DeSoto County Historical Society, go to HistoricDesoto.org.