Update August 29, 2018: Last Thursday the Senate passed a "minibus" appropriations bill that included level funding for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays. The full House will take action on a bill funding these programs after its August recess.
August 10, 2018: The appropriations process is much further along this August than it has been in years past. Last week the Senate joined the House in passing an Interior appropriations bill that included a $2 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities, which would bring its funding level to $155 million for FY 2019.
In early August, the NEH awarded $43.1 million in grants to humanities projects across the nation. The announcement, which included $13.2 million for Cultural Infrastructure Challenge Grants, underscored the NEH’s long-term investment in the brick-and-mortar of humanities institutions; its consistent investments in outstanding humanities organizations across the country; and its commitment to new ideas, communities, and organizations.
For over a decade, the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) and the state and territorial humanities councils funded by the NEH have provided unique services to the veteran community through a variety of interactive, community-building programs throughout the country. The NEH began employing the humanities to address the challenges veterans face through the Literature and Medicine programs held at VA hospitals and the Talking Service program established in partnership with the Great Books Foundation in 2012. In 2014, former NEH Chairman William Adams, a Vietnam veteran, expanded these efforts, launching Standing Together: Humanities and the Experience of War. The initiative increased funding for veteran-related projects across all NEH divisions and established the Dialogues on the Experience of War program, which gathers veterans together around literature, films, and reflective writing exercises that explore the journey from home to the battlefield and back. Since 2016, the NEH has sponsored 47 Dialogues in 21 states. Here at the National Humanities Alliance, as part of our NEH for All initiative, we’re researching past and future Dialogues programs to better understand their impact on veterans and their communities.
In 2016, the University of Maryland (UMD) and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to host a program entitled “100 Years of American Women in Uniform” for women veterans. “100 Years” is the first of NEH’s Dialogues on the Experience of War programs to focus specifically on women veterans. Thirty-eight women veterans from 10 states and Washington, D.C. participated in the program, which spanned four weekends. Participants engaged a wide variety of materials from a century of women’s military history--including diaries, documents, photos, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the Smithsonian collection. They enjoyed expert-led sessions, including several reflective writing exercises. And they learned how to contribute their own and other veterans’ stories to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.
Through our NEH for All initiative we research the impact of NEH funding throughout the country. On a recent trip to Philadelphia, we had the chance to visit the Penn Museum and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Both institutions received funding from the NEH's Division of Public Programs, which allowed curators to create exhibitions that immerse visitors in rich humanities experiences that reflect the best in current scholarship.
UPDATE, 7/18/18 4:30 pm: The Grothman amendment was voted down 297 to 112. Thank you for your advocacy!
UPDATE, 7/18/18 10 am: Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) offered his amendment on the House floor after 11 pm last night. Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Ken Calvert (R-CA), opposed the amendment and called for a voice vote. The amendment was voted down, but Rep. Grothman requested a recorded vote, which means that all members of the House will vote on his amendment later today. There is still time to contact your Member of Congress to let them you know oppose this amendment!
Yesterday, the Senate appropriations subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies joined its House counterpart in recommending a $2 million increase for the NEH, which would bring the Endowment’s funding to $155 million for FY 2019. As noted in our previous post, the arts and humanities communities—including the National Humanities Alliance, the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and Americans for the Arts—have been pushing for at least $155 million in funding since the agency’s budgets were cut in 2010. The Senate bill, scheduled to be considered by the full Appropriations Committee tomorrow, brings us a step closer to meeting that goal.
Yesterday evening, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released a draft bill that includes $155 million in funding for both the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY 2019. This represents not only another rejection of the administration’s efforts to defund the agencies but also a $2 million increase for each agency above FY 2018 funding levels. This proposed boost comes on the heels of increases in each of the past three years.