Columbia Museum of Art receives National Endowment for the Humanities award

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Columbia Museum of Art receives National Endowment for the Humanities award

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces it has been selected as a recipient of a CARES Act economic stabilization grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The $150,000 award will support public programming associated with the upcoming major exhibition Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection.

“I am pleased that the Columbia Museum of Art has received funding allocated through the CARES Act,” says Congressman James E. Clyburn. “The museum serves as a community center, art studio and entertainment venue. We must continue to support them as they strive to provide safe opportunities to participate in meaningful cultural experiences and connect with others.”

From October 17, 2020, through January 10, 2021, the CMA will present Visions from India, a breathtaking sweep of 21st-century painting, sculpture, and multimedia works from India and its diaspora. The museum is eager to showcase this exhibition for diverse local and regional audiences and believes it will make an important impact on the community. The NEH is generously providing support for exhibition-related activities that require retaining humanities staff to maintain and adapt critical public programs.

“NEH is pleased to be able to support the Columbia Museum of Art in retaining jobs, maintaining essential operations, and preparing new exhibitions and programs,” says NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede.

As a leading cultural organization in South Carolina, the CMA holds the humanities core to its mission. The CMA believes that art is meant to be experienced, not just seen — and that means infusing its work with rich connections to the humanities disciplines.

“We are thrilled and thankful for the local and national support of the CMA and the communities we serve,” says CMA Executive Director Della Watkins. “The humanities are needed now more than ever, and this grant reinforces our ability to connect audiences with art and each other this fall through the extraordinary exhibition Visions from India.”

The NEH received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14% of the applicants were funded. The resulting 317 grants, awarded across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, will allow cultural organizations — including the CMA — to retain staff to preserve and curate humanities collections, advance humanities research, and maintain buildings and core operations.

For more information, visit
About the CMA    The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA recently underwent a transformation. Funded by a successful capital campaign, the two-year renovation project garnered new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for artmaking, cutting-edge program and event spaces, an entrance on Main Street, and a revamped CMA shop. Overall, more than 20,000 square feet of functional space were added to the building’s existing footprint. To learn more, visit

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