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 launched a survey for educational and cultural institutions to share the challenges they are facing and how they are continuing to serve students and communities. Responses to this survey to date highlight how humanities organizations and educators are providing crucial services to their students, their communities, and the general public even as they face intense strains. In addition to all of the educators who have pivoted to virtual learning environments, we have seen new humanities programming that connects people even as they are physically isolated, scholars who are contributing to public discourse about the pandemic, and humanities centers and archives that have mobilized to preserve artifacts and stories of this moment. 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.
We will be using these stories to support our advocacy on Capitol Hill and to support efforts to promote the value of the humanities in communities and on campuses. Please help us by taking and sharing the survey.
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.