Virtual experiences prompt Florida Humanities to offer new grant opportunities

COVID-19 has moved culture to the virtual space, and two new grant opportunities through the Florida Humanities Council look to extend the scope.

Described as a means to support ''vital public humanities programming,'' the new grants that total more than $75,000 are available in late summer and fall of 2020. Cultural organizations are welcomed to apply for individual grants of $2,500 to $5,000 each, which is extending more and more to virtual means.  

During these pandemic-riddled times, it’s no longer difficult to picture live-streamed Beethoven, online libraries lending digital tomes and lecture series accessed solely with WIFI. Using the computer to access culture is no longer a stretch, as virtual museum tours and travelogues abound. Community conversations have gone virtual, too. 

“While these grants still support vital public humanities programming, we are funding more and more entirely virtual programming,” says Lindsey E. Morrison, Florida Humanities grants coordinator.

Morrison believes that it’s important for these humanities-based programs to continue, even if it is on a virtual platform. Through the conversations sparked by such events, exhibits, and programs, people are better able to understand themselves, she says – and each other.

The grant opportunities are additional awards born out of the needs of statewide partners. Funds for Life, Liberty + Libraries and Community Project Grants are funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities. But it’s Florida Humanities’ sustainers and friends who ensure the programming is made possible to the communities that need them.

A pandemic can’t keep the humanities down. It’s just shifting them to a new virtual stage. Florida Humanities wants to ensure that vital humanities conversation continues to flourish.

“Humanities programs give us the tools to learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions about topics that truly matter,” Morrison says. 

To apply for a grant or to learn more about the organization, visit the Florida Humanities Council website

Read more articles by Amy Hammond.

Amy Hammond is a freelance writer and author of children’s books that encourage the next generation to attend college. When not indoctrinating youth about the necessity of higher education, she enjoys exploring the paradise that is her St. Petersburg home. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Masters in Secondary English Education from the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in such venues as the Tampa Bay Times. Children’s Book Titles by Amy Hammond include: When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a ‘Nole; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull; When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Tiger.
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