Spreading HOPE: AMSA receives 10K grant from Oklahoma Humanities

Drew Butler

Oklahoma Humanities announced they were distributing almost $500,000 in immediate emergency grant funding to cultural organizations throughout the state. Known as the Oklahoma Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency Grants or H.O.P.E. grants, these grants will be used for general operations support and staff retention. Funding for these grants came from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Ardmore Main Street Authority received a $10,000 grant from the organization. Board of Trustees Member Sherri Snyder applies for many of the grants the organization receives and she explained why this particular grant was created.

“This funding was put in place for organizations because many have lost their ability to fundraise,” Snyder said. “It also helps offset the loss of income due to donor base reduction because people are being more guarded with thier personal funds because of the pandemic.”

Snyder listed Taste of Ardmore, one of AMSA’s largest fundraisers of the year, as an example of this loss of fundraising ability. The festival was scheduled for the end of March but the organization decided to cancel the event because of COVID-19. While Snyder remains hopeful the event will be rescheduled for later in the year, she said the grant will help the organization in the mean time.

She also noted Ardmore was one of the few smaller communities with an organization selected to receive the grant.

“A few other towns like Duncan, Ponca City, and Wewoka received a grant, but the vast majority of these grants went to the urban areas around Oklahoma City and Tulsa,” Snyder said.

She said she is continuing to apply for other grants to help the organization with funding for Depot Park. While government sponsored grants are still available, she pointed out grants from private foundations are more limited.

“As far as grants submissions for Depot Park that go to the public, government sector, those have not been affected, and we’ll probably receive word on a large grant by the end of June and then another by the end of the year,” Snyder said. “The private sector is having to be a little more guarded with their funds right now, so those grants have been very limited.”