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Preserving archaeology and culture for our future

Arizona Humanities-National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Act Award to Old Pueblo

Since 1997, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center has been the recipient of multiple grants provided by Arizona Hu­man­i­ties, formerly known as the Arizona Humanities Coun­cil. The grants have provided funding for Old Pueblo to provide classroom scholarships that allow schools with high percentages of students from low-income families to have their students participate in our children’s education programs, and to provide archae­ology workshops for teachers.

      The March 2020 business-closure orders issued by the City of Tucson and the State of Arizona to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that hit the United States earlier this year forced Old Pueblo to cancel all of our remaining children’s education programs, archaeological site tours, and public presentations that had been scheduled for mid-March through May. Those closures resulted in serious losses of revenues generated by the children’s programs and by donations we had anticipated for the tours and presentations.

      On April 29, Arizona Humanities launched its CARES Act Emergency Grant Program to help sup­port cultural organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Arizona Humanities’ CARES Act emergency grants were offered to provide unrestricted program and operational support of up to $10,000 for humani­ties-focused cultural nonprofit organizations in Arizona. The grant funds, originating through the National Endowment for the Humanities, come from the Coronovirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act) of 2020 passed earlier this year by Congress.

      In announcing the availability of these funds to Arizona nonprofit organizations, Arizona Humanities Executive Director Brenda Thomson wrote, “We cannot say thank you enough. We know that these funds are critical for the mu­seums, cultural and community centers, libraries and histor­ic sites all hard hit by the pandemic. They serve everyone… rural and urban towns, families and children, and students and workers from across Arizona. We hope that we can reach areas that receive few other cultural resources.”

      Old Pueblo applied to Arizona Humanities for one of its CARES Act grants on May 3. In our applica­tion we noted Old Pueblo’s annual education program and tours revenues normally constitute over 40 per­cent of the organization’s total annual income. Through May 31, 2020, the closure was estimated to have resulted in loss of about 2.5 months’ worth of Old Pueblo’s education program revenues (considering that nearly all of the education programs per year are offered during just eight months out of each year) and loss of donation revenues for the tours scheduled between March 17 and May 31 that we had to cancel.

      To help cover these revenue losses, Arizona Humanities awarded Old Pueblo a CARES Act grant of $8,551. The funds will be spent to provide all of Old Pueblo’s regular staff who would have been em­ployed from May 17-May 31 with stipends to encourage them to return to work when closure orders are lifted, and to continue paying Old Pueblo’s other normal expenses during that period.

      Old Pueblo Archaeology Center is extremely grateful to Arizona Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities for their support. For information about Arizona Humanities please visit www.azhumanities.org.

        The funding source for this grant award is the National Endowment for the Humanities/SO-50519. The grant is administered by Arizona Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or of Arizona Humanities.

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