Project Description

Colorado Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Grants

Guidelines are available for the 2021 Colorado Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (COSHARP) grants. Covid has had a lasting impact on the public humanities field across the state, and Colorado Humanities will award funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, through the National Endowment for the Humanities, to meet the needs of organizations doing public humanities work in Colorado. We encourage applications from organizations in rural areas and those serving historically underserved communities.

Eligible organizations must demonstrate at least a four-year track record of providing rich and engaging public humanities work that is accessible to the people of Colorado. Organizations may be awarded up to $20,000 in grant funding, and any eligible organization, of any size, may apply.

Grant applications will be accepted from August 2 through September 10, 2021, and grant awards will be determined by October 15. Those interested in applying are advised to review FAQs and guidelines below and then contact or 303.894.7951 x21 with any questions.


Events Calendar

Calendar of Events

S Sun

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

0 events,

2 events,

1 event,

2 events,

1 event,

1 event,

1 event,

Our Calendar


Haga clic aquí para ver las pautas en español

Colorado Sustaining Humanities American Rescue Plan (COSHARP) grants aim to provide general operating support to organizations to recover from the economic hardship due to the cancellation of or changes to their public humanities activities as a result of Covid.

The fund will provide at least $760,000 to support Colorado-based public humanities and cultural organizations. Organizations may use grant funds for any operating costs resulting from Covid to support their capacity for continued implementation of public humanities activities. Eligible expense items include, but are not limited to, any of the following costs:

Staff salaries, payroll taxes, and fringe benefits for programmatic and administrative personnel
Rent or mortgage payments
Professional fees, including honoraria and stipends for humanities advisors, interviewees, technical consultants, etc.
Technical expenses incurred to make programming available online or digitally, including training, hosting, equipment, and more
Supplies and materials for all organizational activities
Equipment rental
Administrative (e.g.  phone, postage, photocopying, and printing)
Marketing (e.g., design, printing, distribution, ad placement)
Documentation (e.g., videography of events)


Applicants may request up to $20,000. Any organization of any size may request up to the maximum grant amount. However, all grant funds must be spent on qualified expenses by the end of the grant period, June 30, 2022.


Applications will be accepted from Colorado-based nonprofit agencies and organizations with a minimum four-year organizational history whose work in the public humanities in Colorado has been impacted by Covid. Applicants must demonstrate this need through either economic hardship due to loss of income as a result of loss of programming opportunities and/or revenue sources, or unanticipated expenses incurred due to cancelled or modified programming or project activities (e.g., adapting in-person programming to online).

Current Colorado Humanities partners MAY apply, as long as the activities supported by COSHARP grants do not directly overlap with expenses already supported through contracts or agreements with Colorado Humanities. Colorado Humanities Grant Review Committee members who also serve on the staff or Board of an applicant organization may not review the application, and they may not be compensated from COSHARP grant funds for any goods or services they provide.

To accomplish the mission of Colorado Humanities, we will consider as part of our decision-making process geographic and cultural diversity, increasing equity and inclusion, and reaching communities that currently or historically have been underserved with humanities programming.

COSHARP Grant funds may not support:

Unallowable expenses as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E – Cost Principles

indirect costs on general operating support subawards
overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
funds for activities supported by other non-NEH federal funds
competitive regranting
cancellation costs
pre-award costs prior to March 15, 2021
equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs
travel (both foreign and domestic)
construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
environmental sustainability
collections acquisition
the preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
support of specific public policies or legislation
projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences, including the creation or performance of art (Visual, Literary, Music, Theatre, Dance); creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies. If your organization’s mission is the creation, display, or performance of art, please apply for funds through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) or Colorado Creative Industries (CCI)
empirically based social science research or policy studies

Here are some examples of what does and does not qualify

A theater company that solely holds public performances of classic or new plays does NOT qualify.
A theater company that also holds a series of lectures in humanities topics such as history, jurisprudence, philosophy, ethics, literature, or language MAY qualify.

An art museum engaged solely in the display of art does NOT qualify.
An art museum that offers lectures or classes in art history MAY qualify.

An art school engaged solely in art instruction does NOT qualify.
An art school that offers classes in art history MAY qualify.

A social service organization that provides food, rental assistance, short-term housing, does NOT qualify.

Although current Colorado Humanities board members may serve as advisors or consultants to projects, they may not be compensated from Colorado Humanities grant funds for any goods or services they provide.

Do you have questions?
We’re happy to help!

Contact Grants Administrator at
303.894.7951 x21 or

What are the humanities?
The humanities include the study of archaeology; cultural anthropology; cultural, ethnic, or gender studies; or cultural/historical geography; ethics; history; humanistic social science; jurisprudence; language/linguistics; literature; philosophy; and religious studies. The humanities also encompass art history, theory, and criticism—but not the creation, display or performance of visual, literary, theatrical, or musical art.

Requirements for Application

Tax ID (EIN)

Completed IRS Form 990 for 2019 and 2020

A Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, available through Dun & Bradstreet. Obtain a DUNS number.

Current Colorado Secretary of State Certificate of Good Standing. Find more information.

Applicants are required to provide responses to the following as part of the application form:

Organization Description

Organization Activities

Statement of Need

Geographic Region

Primary Audience Demographics

Potential Impact of Funding

U.S. Congressional District

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is a specific project required for this grant?

No, a specific project is not required for COSHARP grants. Award funds are intended to be used for general operating support for organizations working in the public humanities currently impacted by Covid.

2. Who is eligible to apply for a COSHARP Grant?

Any Colorado-based non-profit organizations or agencies with tax-exempt status that can demonstrate a substantial track record of public humanities work over the past four years may apply. An applicant may be, but is not limited to this type of organization: a museum, public library, literary organization, archive, historical society, cultural center, tribal government, or some college or university departments or programs. COSHARP funds may not be used for overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards.  For example, COSHARP funds may not be used for payroll expenses for the same period as those paid through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) ARP funds.

3. What specific documents do I need to submit along with the application for the grant?

Completed IRS Form 990 for 2019 and 2020

IRS 501( c )3 determination letter

Colorado Secretary of State Certificate of Good Standing. Find your organization’s certificate.

4. What acknowledgement are grantees required to offer in press releases, on websites, and in marketing materials?

COSHARP grants are made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Grants received must be announced in a press release, and Colorado Humanities and the NEH must be acknowledged for a period of twelve months in all public communications, including newsletters, annual reports, program materials and websites.  We will provide press release and acknowledgement templates.

Please email our Grants Administrator or call 303.894.7951 x21 if you have questions about how to develop your proposal or how to interpret guidelines or requirements.

Upcoming Events

Join Colorado Humanities in our upcoming events

High Plains Chautauqua

August 2 - August 5

COSHARP Grants Open Applications

August 2 @ 12:00 am - September 10 @ 11:59 pm


Colorado Humanities forges program partnerships statewide to improve education, strengthen cultural institutions and enrich community life. Your contribution makes you an important part of it.