Bullock announces emergency relief grants for Eastern State Penitentiary, Mighty Writers, to counter effects of COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 6 –State Rep. Donna Bullock on Thursday announced Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site Inc. and Mighty Writers were among dozens of cultural organizations awarded federal funding designed to counter the effects of COVID-19. 

“I’m grateful that these two worthy organizations have been awarded this much-needed funding while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the fundraising efforts of our nonprofit organizations,” Bullock said. “My hope is that this funding will give these organizations a boost to offset the loss in funds they have experienced through the pandemic. 

“Eastern State Penitentiary is a modern-day historical site and leading voice on prison and criminal justice reform,” Bullock said. “It draws thousands of visitors to the Fairmount neighborhood with tours, educational programming and special events. Mighty Writers, with an office in West Philadelphia, provides afterschool and summer programming to youth in the Mantua community. Helping young people find their voice through writing is such an important task that Mighty Writers tackles, and I was honored to see the organization’s important work in action firsthand when I visited its very popular cursive summer camp program last year.” 

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site Inc. was awarded $10,000 and Mighty Writers was awarded $7,500. The two were among dozens of organizations statewide that received a total of $780,500 in emergency relief grants through the Pennsylvania Humanities Council CARES fund, or PHC CARES fund. According to the PHC, the fund is intended to assist in sustaining the state’s cultural infrastructure by advancing humanities programs, helping organizations adapt to site closures and the cancellation of in-person events that bring people together, and support local economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHC CARES is funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, which became law March 27. The National Endowment for the Humanities received funding allocated to the 56 humanities councils in the United States, including PHC, to distribute to humanities-based nonprofits financially impacted by the coronavirus.