The Society of Architectural Historians Receives American Rescue Plan Relief Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities

by SAH News | Oct 05, 2021

The Society of Architectural Historians has received a $199,596 American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that will sustain and expand SAH’s public humanities programs and publications, and retain the staff members responsible for managing them. SAH is among nearly 300 cultural and educational institutions that were awarded ARP relief funding from NEH. 

NEH #SHARP graphic with Statue of Liberty on orange background

“We at SAH are thrilled and grateful to NEH for this important funding. In recent years SAH has greatly expanded its open access online publications, such as SAH Archipedia, and its public-oriented virtual programs, such as SAH CONNECTS, to share new research on the history of the built environment with all who have an interest in it," said SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga. "This funding will preserve the jobs of key SAH staff who manage those free publications and programs, and will help SAH recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.”  

The pandemic drastically reduced or eliminated sources of revenue that SAH depends on to maintain operations essential to its mission and pay staff salaries. These revenue sources include membership dues, library journal subscriptions, national and international field trips, and in-person annual conferences. 

The ARP relief grant will support the retention of four staff members who manage SAH’s free online public programs and publications and are crucial to sustaining its core humanities activities: SAH Director of Programs Christopher Kirbabas, SAH Director of Communications Helena Dean, SAH Director of Membership Anne Bird, and SAH Archipedia/BUS Managing Editor Catherine Boland Erkkila. Each of these individuals played a key role in creating and delivering publicly accessible online programs and publications during the pandemic and will continue to do so in the future. 

When the pandemic forced SAH to cancel all in-person events, it responded by moving its annual conference online and making conference roundtables and keynote talks open to the public for free. SAH ventured further into the virtual realm, creating a year-round series of free programming called SAH CONNECTS. Recordings of these issue-oriented discussions, publishing and teaching workshops, and roundtables are available to the public via SAH’s video archive. SAH will continue to promote knowledge and discourse among scholars and advance public engagement with the humanities through its free virtual programs.

SAH also plans to add hundreds of new essays and site histories to SAH Archipedia, its open access encyclopedia of the built environment of the United States. This new digital content will document and interpret buildings and public spaces across the U.S. and will include new work on the histories of spaces inhabited by marginalized people. 

Read the NEH press release:

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610