Held in Washington, D.C. each spring, Humanities Advocacy Day was established by the National Humanities Alliance in 2000 to increase public support for the humanities. As part of this event, participants receive detailed issues briefs and background material on the current status of federal humanities funding in preparation for Congressional Hill visits coordinated by the NHA staff. Each year, advocates travel to Capitol Hill as part of state delegations to urge Congress to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other key humanities programs. New and returning advocates also have the opportunity to take part in focused advocacy training sessions as part of pre-meeting activities. Timed to coincide with the Congressional appropriations process, the event provides a unique opportunity for more than 100 individuals representing a diverse range of organizations and institutions from across the country to speak with a unified voice to Congress and other key stakeholders. Over the last twelve years, the Alliance has helped train, inform, and engage nearly one thousand individuals through this event, including many first-time advocates to Capitol Hill.
The first Annual Meeting of the National Humanities Alliance was convened by the organization's founders in 1981. Since 2007, the NHA Annual Meeting has been timed to coincide with the the Alliance's Humanities Advocacy Day in order to broaden opportunities for NHA member participation and networking for both events. Now held each spring in Washington, DC, the NHA Annual Meeting serves as a unique opportunity for NHA members and other leaders from around the country to connect, assess the state of the humanities, discuss current policy issues, and explore various strategies to promote the humanities. The event includes a business meeting (for NHA member representatives), panel presentations, a keynote address, policy briefings, and a Capitol Hill reception. Participants and speakers regularly include: scholarly society representatives, higher education leaders, college and university faculty, teachers, students, independent scholars, state humanities council representatives, federal agency officials and program staff, Members of Congress and their staff; and others concerned with the humanities. Note: Prior to 2007 the NHA Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Council of Learned Societies. For information on past meetings, click here.