The Culpeper area’s Germanna Foundation, like many historic-site stewards, is being stressed by the coronavirus and the crimp it has put in people’s travel and visitation habits.

So, Virginia Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities have extended a helping hand to the caretaker of a half-dozen Central Virginia historic sites.

They recently awarded the foundation a $7,500 grant to assist with preserving German colonists’ frontier fort and town, offering distance learning, and buying software to enable the nonprofit group to hold its 63rd annual Germanna Conference and Reunion via online webinars.

“The Germanna Foundation is deeply grateful to Virginia Humanities for the grant to keep us working productively,” J. Marc Wheat, the group’s president, said in a statement. “Acquiring the tools we need to tell our story to an international audience will pay dividends for years to come.”

Tim Sutphin, the foundation’s executive director, applied for the emergency funding at the earliest opportunity.

Virginia Humanities and the NEH offered the grants to help nonprofit cultural organizations that suffered economic damage from closures and limits on activities caused by the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Virginia Humanities Executive Director Matthew Gibson notified the Germanna Foundation last month that it was being awarded the grant.

Virginia Humanities is one of two organizations charged with distributing NEH funding to Virginia’s cultural groups. The other is the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The foundation tells the interwoven stories of Germanna, an early 18th-century, fortified settlement on the Virginia frontier, and its peoples.

The nonprofit group headquartered in Orange County preserves a nationally significant handful of historic sites in Virginia’s northern Piedmont. It conducts archaeological exploration and conservation, genealogical research and publishing, and historic preservation and interpretation.

The foundation’s sites and facilities include the Fort Germanna Visitor Center, Museum & Genealogy Library, Germanna Memorial Garden, Siegen Forest Hiking and Nature Trails, Fort Germanna and Enchanted Castle archaeology sites, and historic Salubria Manor in Culpeper County.

To learn more, visit germanna.org or the foundation’s Facebook page.

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