TRENTON, NJ - New Jersey’s storm-battered humanities organizations have a fund of their own to turn for help, thanks to a $30,000 special Chairman’s grant made to the Council by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Funds have already been disbursed to five organizations, helping historic cemeteries in Jersey City and New Brunswick, and cushioning operating support losses in Tuckerton, Bay Head, and Trenton.

Museums, libraries, and historic sites around the state are calling on insurance, FEMA, and other major programs to help repair structures and restore damaged collections.  But the New Jersey Council for the Humanities has stepped in to offer small grants to meet needs that fall through the cracks of bigger operations.  A museum, historic site, library, or other humanities organizations that chose to stay open extra hours providing warmth and charging stations, or stockpiling and distributing goods to its community can apply for funds to cover the increased utility and staff costs.  Organizations that counted on program revenue that was lost when schools closed, the site closed, or audiences simply disappeared can apply for help to cushion those losses.  Likewise groups that bore extra costs to reschedule cancelled events.

Many organizations suffered collections damage, and the insurance costs are likely to be staggering.  But New Jersey also has important historic resources such as cemeteries that may be neither owned nor insured.  The New Jersey Council for the Humanities is offering $1500 incentive grants to local organizations willing to clean up and restore damaged historic cemeteries, so that those heritage resources can also be preserved. 

“The work of the humanities is to help us become the best human beings we can be, and our humanities resources help make New Jersey communities wonderful places to live,” affirmed Dr. Sharon Ann Holt, Council director.  “We are so grateful to NEH Chairman James Leach, who made it possible to honor and support the humanities organizations that anchor New Jersey communities in this way.”

NJCH worked in partnership with the New York Humanities Council to get the emergency program up and running quickly.  Any New Jersey humanities organization whose operations and/or community were affected by Sandy is eligible to apply. To apply please visit:, and use the online form linked there.  Organizations that have already received Council grant support in 2012 may apply, and receipt of an emergency grant will not disqualify an organization from NJCH’s regular 2013 grant programs.

Applications for these special grants will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 31, 2012.  Rapid notification and disbursement of funds is a priority.

Anyone wishing to contribute to enlarging the relief fund to support state humanities organizations is warmly invited to contribute directly to NJCH online at, or by check to Emergency Relief, New Jersey Council for the Humanities, 28 W. State St., 6th floor, Trenton, NJ  08608.

NJCH, founded in 1972, is a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.