Supporting the Humanities Community During COVID-19
Advocating on Capitol Hill
To support educational and cultural institutions as they confront financial and programmatic challenges, we have been lobbying on Capitol Hill for emergency funding for the NEH and Small Business Administration loans for non-profits. We were pleased that the CARES Act included $75 million for the NEH—the first stimulus funding ever awarded to the NEH—and we are now pushing for additional funding in upcoming relief bills to meet the community’s growing need. We also continue to push for additional funding for the Small Business Administration to continue replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program. Our joint statement with the Federation of State Humanities Councils on the need for additional funding can be found here.
It is crucial that Members of Congress hear from as many constituents as possible about the importance of supporting the humanities community in these times.
Documenting the Value of the Humanities in Communities
We have developed a survey to document the impact of COVID-related programming for humanities organizations and educators. We will be working with project directors to implement the survey and encourage others to use it as well.
In April, we administered a COVID-19 Humanities Community Survey to document the impact that COVID-19 was having on humanities institutions throughout the U.S. This data allowed us to showcase the incredible work humanities institutions are undertaking as well as support our advocacy on Capitol Hill.
We are now several months into the pandemic and the landscape has changed considerably from those early weeks. A greater understanding of this landscape will help us determine how we can best support the humanities community. We have created a new survey, which provides the opportunity to share about: your ability to access support from federal, state, and local governments; the challenges you see for your institution in the near future; and your work right now and specifically the ways you are serving your students and communities in the face of the crisis.
As we document COVID-19 humanities programming based at higher ed institutions, we are sharing them so that the broader community can learn from these examples.
Documenting the Value of the Humanities for Individuals
We have also developed a survey for individuals of all walks of life to share how the humanities are helping them make sense of their experiences and maintain connections during the COVID-19 crisis. We aim to collect reflections from individuals working in a variety of occupations. We also encourage educators to use the survey as a reflective assignment; it has been designed to collect course information from students so that instructors may view their responses.
We hope you will share the survey widely, in addition to completing it yourself. Your participation will help us continue to make the case for the enduring value of humanities education in these turbulent times.