The current crisis facing the National Endowment for the Humanities underscores a crucial need to increase awareness among policymakers and the public regarding the value of the NEH, in particular, and the humanities, more generally.
Recently, advocates most familiar with the NEH's work have sought to explain its impact through op-eds in national and local news outlets. At the same time, many have found it difficult to identify both compelling, overarching arguments about the NEH’s impact and examples specifying the ways NEH grants affect communities.
Journalists covering threats to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts have faced similar roadblocks. As a result, they have largely focused on examples of the NEA’s impact. This imbalance has real consequences: policymakers and the public have had less access to information about the projects the NEH funds and the crucial role this funding plays in catalyzing innovative scholarship, teaching, public programming, and preservation and access projects.
Profiles of Impactful NEH Projects and Briefing Documents, A Digital Clearinghouse
To help advocates and journalists articulate how the NEH benefits a range of communities, we are creating a searchable, digital clearing house that will profile impactful NEH projects. Profiles will reflect grants that are diverse across three dimensions: geography, area of impact, and type of humanities activity (e.g. research, education, public programming, preservation, and digital).
We will also provide briefing documents that offer overarching data (when available) and provide examples of impactful grants in areas such as:
- Preserving cultural heritage;
- Ensuring rural access to high-quality programming;
- Enriching K-12 education;
- Providing life-long learning opportunities for diverse audiences;
- Facilitating community dialogue;
- Supporting cutting-edge research;
- Fostering local tourism economies;
- Supporting veterans;
- Promoting civic education; and
- Collecting and curating local histories.
To ensure that advocates have access to the material as soon as possible, we will launch a first iteration of the web portal in September 2017. We will add profiles and briefing documents as they are completed.
The Clearinghouse of Impactful NEH Projects has received generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
For more information, please contact Cecily Erin Hill (Project Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-296-2296 ext. 101.