News & Press

Plimoth Receives CARES Act Grants from National Endowment for the Humanities and Mass Humanities

Grants provide one of New England’s largest open-air museums with essential operating support in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Plimoth Plantation, Inc. has been awarded two CARES Act grants from funds provided through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

The museum, which creates powerful, research-based encounters with the stories of the Indigenous Wampanoag and Colonial English communities who met 400 years ago along the shores of historic Patuxet, received nearly $300,000 from the NEH for its program Seeds of Change: Transforming the Landscape of Seventeenth-Century Plymouth & Patuxet. Through this generous grant that supports research, programming, and interpretation initiatives to improve enjoyment of the museum’s outdoor spaces, Plimoth will be able to help visitors – both onsite and online – better understand the divergent worldviews of the Wampanoag and English communities in the early 17th century, and the resulting impact both had on the New England landscape. Importantly, this NEH funding also enables Plimoth to retain essential staff positions related to grant activities.

In addition, Plimoth was among 123 recipients of funding from Mass Humanities, a state affiliate of the NEH. A $10,000 grant will provide essential operating support for the museum.

Both grants are made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which received $75 million from the $2 trillion CARES Act legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in March 2020.

“We are so grateful to our legislators for their role in passing the CARES Act, and to the NEH and Mass Humanities for their generous support during this devastating time for both individuals and cultural organizations across the country,” said Ellie Donovan, Plimoth’s Executive Director. “This vital funding helps the museum continue to play a role in serving the well-being of others through the lively educational experiences we provide on our open-air sites, indoor exhibit spaces, and online.”

The museum reopened its outdoor history exhibits, gardens, and retail shops to the public on June 11, after having closed due to the pandemic just two days into its highly anticipated 2020 season. Plimoth is expected to open indoor galleries, historical houses, the Plimoth Grist Mill, and the Plimoth Cinema in the upcoming phase 3 of Governor Baker’s Reopening Massachusetts plan, pending guidance from the state.

To learn more about the National Endowment for the Humanities, visit and for more on Mass Humanities,

About Plimoth Patuxet

Plimoth Patuxet is one of the Nation’s foremost living history museums. Founded in 1947, the Museum creates engaging experiences of history built on thorough research about the Indigenous and European people who met along Massachusetts' historic shores of change in the 1600s. Immersive and educational encounters underscore the collaborations as well as the cultural clash and conflicts of the 17th-century people of this region. Major exhibits include the Historic Patuxet Homesite, the 17th-Century English Village, Mayflower II, and Plimoth Grist Mill. A private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution, Plimoth Patuxet is supported by admission fees, donations, memberships, and revenue from a variety of educational programming, dining and gift shops. Plimoth Patuxet receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, private foundations, corporations, and local businesses. Located less than an hour’s drive south of Boston, and 15 minutes north of Cape Cod, the Museum is open daily from early spring through the Sunday after Thanksgiving. For more information, visit Follow the Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About The National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: