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National Endowment for the Humanities

Agency Description
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1965. As one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States, NEH provides critical support for research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities through grants to a wide range of educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and individual scholars nationwide.  [URL:]

Action Needed
For FY 2015, we urge Congress to provide no less than $154.5 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. This level of funding would allow the agency to better exercise its critical role as a catalyst for educational, research, preservation, and programming initiatives in the humanities by meeting extensive unmet demand for support, which routinely outstrips available funds. In FY 2013, NEH received 4,757 grant applications, which requested approximately $480 million. Of these applications, NEH funded approximately 14.5%. Since FY 2008 applications to NEH have increased by more than 11%.

Current funding status —
The FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill provided $146 million in funding for NEH. This is the same level of funding the agency received in FY 2012 and is $7 million more than the FY 2013 post-sequestration level of $139 million. NEH is at its lowest funding level in constant dollars since 1971. For FY 2015, President Obama requested $146 million for NEH.

NEH is funded under the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. NEH did not receive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. 


NEH Appropriations, FY 2008-2014

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Budget Request  141.4 144.4 171.3* 161.3 146.3 154.3 154.465
Appropriation  144.7 155.0 167.5 154.69 146.0 139 146

Note: *The FY 2010 Budget Request included $10 million to transfer administration of the NCACA program to NEH (not approved by Congress).

Committee Jurisdiction


[Last Reauthorization Enacted November 5, 1990]
The NEH was established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-209). NEH was last reauthorized through the 1991 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5769), specifically TItle I of the Act, "Amendments to the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965", also referred to as the "Arts, Humanities, and Museums Amendments of 1990".  [Bill text: P.L. 101-512]