Over the past week, the House appropriations subcommittees have begun releasing bills and passing them out of subcommittee. Yesterday, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee passed its FY 22 appropriations bill containing $201 million each for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. This reflects an increase of $33.5 million for each agency. When the President’s Budget Request was released a few weeks ago, it included a more robust increase for the NEA than the NEH. We have spent the past several weeks working closely with our Hill allies to ensure that the NEH receives the same increase and are pleased to see that it did in the House bill.
On Community Partnership: An Interview with Kyera Singleton from the Royall House and Slave Quarters
In the 18th century, the Royall House and Slave Quarters was home to the largest enslavers in Massachusetts and the enslaved Black women, men, and children, who made their lavish way of life possible. Today, the Royall House and Slave Quarters is a site of memory. The museum’s architecture, household items, archaeological artifacts, and public programs center the histories and lived experiences of enslaved people while bearing witness to intertwined stories of wealth, bondage, and contestations of freedom in Massachusetts.
Advising staff are key allies in recruitment; after all, they are the ones who help students select their courses and major/minor(s). The history department at the University of Oklahoma has shown how professional advisors can make a significant impact on recruitment far beyond their 1:1 advising responsibilities.
On Friday, the Biden administration released its FY 22 budget request which included increases for many of our priorities. While this is only a request and Congress will ultimately craft spending bills, the increases in the administration’s proposal are thanks to the ongoing efforts of humanities advocates and show that the Biden administration understands the value of these programs.
The Native Northeast Research Collaborative (NNRC) is a vast digital humanities project that engages tribes, scholars, educators, students, and the public to preserve, curate, and study Indigenous peoples and communities in the Atlantic Northeast. Over the last eleven years of their operation, NNRC’s digitization efforts have helped to publish materials spanning three centuries, addressing an urgent need for reliable primary source material on the Northeast region’s Indigenous peoples. With an NEH CARES grant, NNRC and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center created On Our Own Ground: Pequot Community Papers, 1813-1849. Grant funding allowed the project to hire editors, editorial assistants, and community scholars from the Eastern Pequot and Mashantucket Pequot communities, who then transcribed, edited, annotated, and published a series of 19th century documents that shed light on the everyday lives of Eastern and Mashantucket Pequot people in Early Republic Connecticut.
In my last blog post, I shared some insights from conversations I had been having with directors and program coordinators at Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs). I had been speaking to them as part of our broader effort to gather publicly engaged humanities projects for the Humanities for All database. In the post, I detailed four key themes that emerged across the projects I encountered:
Since 2017, the NEH for All team has documented and communicated the impact of National Endowment for the Humanities funding, which has included working with project directors to survey ongoing NEH-funded projects. NHA’s Humanities Impact Survey Toolkit was developed from these efforts.
After a decade of widespread decline in humanities majors and enrollments and in the face of formidable new pressures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for effective humanities recruitment strategies has never been clearer. Fortunately, humanists across the country have been busy innovating new approaches to attract more students to the humanities that others can learn from. Our new report, Strategies for Recruiting Students to the Humanities: A Comprehensive Resource, launched at the 2021 NHA Annual Meeting in March, presents a wide menu of strategies for faculty and administrators to draw upon as they work to boost humanities majors and enrollments.
The Walter Anderson Museum of Art (WAMA) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi preserves the legacy of Walter Anderson—a prolific artist who spent the majority of his career on the Mississippi Gulf Coast documenting the local culture and landscape through his artwork. WAMA uses Anderson’s artwork as a catalyst for public programming and education to explore human connections with the natural world. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, WAMA leveraged an NEH CARES grant to develop Southern Art/Wider World, which included live digital lectures that brought together scholars, community leaders, and the public to explore Mississippi’s diverse cultural and natural landscapes. Through our NEH for All initiative, we partnered with WAMA to document the impact of these lectures. Survey results from the lecture series demonstrate how WAMA provided space for cultural exploration amidst physical distancing measures.