SDHC Opens Second Funding Round for South Dakota COVID-19 Emergency Support

Applications Accepted from July 20-Aug. 31

The South Dakota Humanities Council has opened a second round of grant funding to assist South Dakota cultural organizations struggling to maintain operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

SDHC will accept applications from July 20-Aug. 31 at

The South Dakota Humanities Council CARES Act Grant was created to help humanities-based cultural organizations maintain essential functions and retain core personnel during the current public health crisis. To date, SDHC has awarded $98,068 to help 13 cultural organizations in 11 counties maintain operations and staffing.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) provided funding for these grants as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. Grants are administered by the South Dakota Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit whose sole purpose is to provide humanities programming.

Application Requirements

CARES Act General Operating Support Grants will fund requests up to $10,000 for organizations with budgets up to $500,000 and up to $20,000 for organizations with budgets of $500,000 and above.

Who is eligible?

The COVID-19 Emergency Support Grant is for nonprofit cultural organizations, including:

  • U.S. organizations with 501(c)(3) status
  • Public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments

Applicants must also:

  • Have a core mission to provide free and open humanities programs to the South Dakota public
  • Maintain a primary business address in South Dakota
  • Have a DUNS number; the application does not require an active SAMS registration

Who is not eligible?

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Support Grant:

  • International and for-profit entities
  • Government agencies or institutions
  • Nonprofit charitable organizations designated as private foundations by the IRS
  • Religious or primarily faith-based programs or organizations receiving a significant portion of their funding from a religious organization
  • Public, private, or parochial K-12 schools
  • Individuals
  • Groups that do not provide strong humanities programs, including arts organizations whose primary mission is the creation, performance, or display of art
  • Organizations who received an SDHC CARES grant during the first round of funding

More Application Details

Applications must be completed online no later than Aug. 31, 2020, at

A review panel will award grants based on the organization's operating revenues, the panelists' assessment, and the available pool of money. A match is not required. SDHC will keep declined requests on file for future consideration should additional funding become available. After an application has been received, a decision will be reached within approximately 15 business days. All South Dakota Humanities Council Cares Act funds must be awarded by Oct. 31, 2020. 

NOTE: Organizations should apply for funding based on the budget for their individual entity (i.e., department or library) rather than the budget of their umbrella organizations (i.e., university or municipality).


Please send all inquiries to We will respond by email or call you upon request. You can also visit for more information.

The following organizations received funding in the first round of SDHC CARES (numbers may change, as the panel is still reviewing first-round applications).

  • Timber Lake & Area Historical Society, Timber Lake - $6,500
  • South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Hill City - $10,000
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society, De Smet - $10,000
  • Yankton County Historical Society, Yankton - $9,710
  • Cramer-Kenyon Heritage Home, Yankton - $6,000
  • Midland Pioneer Museum Association, Midland - $2,500
  • High Plains Western Heritage Center, Spearfish - $10,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Moody County, Flandreau - $10,000
  • SDSU English Department, Brookings - $5,350
  • South Dakota Oral History Center, Vermillion - $5,600
  • Brookings County Historical Society/Museum, Volga - $3,000
  • Lake County Historical Society, Madison - $9,408
  • Klein Museum, Mobridge - $10,000