Berkshire cultural sites share $77,500 in COVID-19 relief

The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, shown in the early days of the coronavirus lockdown in March, is among the Berkshire cultural institutions to receive a Mass Humanities grant to help ease the pain caused by the pandemic.

NORTHAMPTON — Fifteen nonprofit humanities organizations in the Berkshires have been awarded at combined total of $77,500 in coronavirus relief funding from Mass Humanities, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The grants range from $2,500 to $10,000. Those top grants were awarded to Berkshire Museum, Hancock Shaker Village, and Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield; and Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

The Berkshires' share is part of a total $572,500 distributed among 123 humanities organizations across the commonwealth through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The National Endowment for the Humanities received $75 million from the $2 trillion CARES Act

In an announcement, Mass Humanities said the money provides "unrestricted operating support for museums, libraries, archives and other nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts" that have been hit hard economically by COVID-19 pandemic.

Mass Humanities cited a recent survey by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in which cultural organizations reported more than $260 million in lost revenue and thousands of jobs impacted as a result of the pandemic.

"The humanities — our history, culture, and ideas — will be essential in any recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts," said Brian Boyles, executive director of Northampton-based Mass Humanities. "We're grateful to NEH for providing these funds to protect the humanities infrastructure of the state. We only regret that we could not meet the needs of every applicant. We will continue to seek ways to assist our grantees and other institutions in surviving this crisis."

Founded in 1974, Mass Humanities "conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout Massachusetts."

Humanities organizations in the Berkshires region receiving funds are:

- Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center, Windsor, $2,500

- The Artist Book Foundation, North Adams, $2,500

- Berkshire Community Radio Alliance, Inc., Great Barrington, $2,500

- Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, Adams, $2,500

- Berkshire County Historical Society, Pittsfield, $2,500

- West Stockbridge Historical Society, West Stockbridge, $2,500

- Clinton Church Restoration, Inc., Great Barrington, $2,500

- Stockbridge Library Association, Stockbridge, $5,000

- Lenox Library Association, Lenox, $5,000

- WAM Theatre, Lenox, $5,000

- Ventfort Hall Association Inc., Lenox, $5,000

- Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, $10,000

- Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, $10,000

- Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, $10,000

- Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, $10,000