On May 21 we partnered with Virginia Humanities and the hosts of the history podcast BackStory to produce a briefing on Capitol Hill. The event, which was held in the Russell Senate Office Building, offered congressional staff and others the opportunity to see for themselves the power of humanities research. Beyond the books and articles produced by humanities scholars, humanities research offers critical insights into our past and present that help grapple with major challenges and prepare for the future.
As higher education institutions continue to make cuts to humanities departments (Millsaps College, Tulsa University, Wheeling Jesuit University), we are working to collect and share successful strategies for making the case for studying the humanities as an undergraduate, helping humanists to secure their rightful place on campus.
One of the great benefits of leading the Humanities for All initiative is having the opportunity to meet with NHA members to introduce them to the website and to learn more about their publicly engaged work. Over three days in the Research Triangle in North Carolina, I had the opportunity to learn from NHA members at the National Humanities Center, Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Dialogues on the Experience of War program brings together veterans and civilians to reflect upon powerful literature and art. Over the past year, we have partnered with several recent grantees to document the impact of these programs in order to demonstrate the value of the humanities and the NEH for veterans and their communities. While data collection continues, preliminary results from our pre- and post-program surveys illustrate how these programs equip veterans with humanities resources to process their experiences, share their stories, connect with fellow veterans, and reintegrate into their communities.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released its proposed FY 2020 funding bill earlier today. The bill includes $167.5 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities which, if enacted, would be a $12.5 million increase. After four years of incremental increases for the NEH, this substantial increase reflects the robust support we have built on the Hill. The bill also includes $14 million for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which, if enacted, would be a $2 million increase.
Last week, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations Subcommittee approved a funding bill for FY 2020.
In its most recent grant release, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded $28.6 million in funding to 233 projects based throughout the nation.
The Delta Center for Culture & Learning at Delta State University plays a critical role in bringing the history and culture of the Mississippi Delta to the public. In addition to hosting an annual NEH Landmarks Workshop for School Teachers, “The Most Southern Place on Earth,” the center runs the International Delta Blues Project and manages the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA). NHA recently completed a survey of the Delta Center’s Landmarks Workshop that explores the program’s longlasting impact on participants. Through qualitative and quantitative data, the results demonstrate that the program rejuvenates teachers, helps them incorporate creative and engaging pedagogies into their classrooms, and encourages continued professional development and strong professional networks.