It is March and the appropriations process on Capitol Hill is gaining steam. In early February, President Obama released his budget request, which outlined how his administration hoped to allocate $4.2 trillion in FY 2017. On March 23rd, the House Budget Committee issued its non-binding budget recommendations. Now the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are at work to allocate funds across the government, and Members of Congress are communicating their top funding priorities to those committees.
Earlier today, the House and Senate each approved an omnibus appropriations package. The president has pledged to sign it into law. This package boosts NEH’s funding for the first time in six years and provides level funding for the severely threatened Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs.
What does it take to make sure that languages like Hindi, Javanese, Urdu, Ukrainian, and Swahili are taught consistently and effectively in the United States? And to provide opportunities for students to acquire expertise in international cultures to complement their language skills? And to support the training of specialists—from scholars to diplomats to aid workers—with advanced language and area studies training?
The Humanities Indicators recently released a new analysis of federal support for the humanities: this is funding that goes to the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as programs at various other agencies, including many Smithsonian Institution museums, the Department of Education, the National Park Service, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Together, the funding supports scholars and teachers, museums, cultural institutions, public programs and preservation activities.
I met the film-maker Larry Hott three years before he began filming Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi, an NEH-funded documentary that tells the story of our tribe's efforts to revitalize the Lakota language. At the time, I was an avid learner of the Lakota language, but I wasn't yet an instructor in the Lakota Language Nest, a pre-school where children are immersed in the Lakota language. The year I met him, Larry came to the community to take preliminary notes. The following year we recorded audio, and the year after we recorded video. The fourth year was when we recorded the majority of the film. When I was asked for an interview, I thought it was a great opportunity to tell the story of our pre-school and of Standing Rock’s communities more generally.
Note to Reader: This guest blog post is the first in an ongoing series that profiles specific humanities projects and explores their contributions to the lives of individuals and communities. The series brings together voices from across the humanities community, featuring humanistic work and its impact from the standpoint of scholars and students, K-12 educators, public humanities professionals, and participants in humanities programs. For more information on submitting a guest post, click here.
In early 2011, I received a call from Wil Meya, the director of The Language Conservancy in Bloomington, Indiana. He had an idea for a documentary film and wanted to know if I had any interest in the helping to make the film a reality. I get a lot of calls like this and I was ready to say no; I know how long and hard the climb is to the mountaintop of full funding, production, and eventual broadcast. But there was something intriguing about the idea and, at the same time, something very familiar.
This is a slightly modified version of a post that originally appeared on the National Coalition for History website. Click here to see the original post.
On July 16, the U.S. Senate approved S. 1177, the “Every Child Achieves Act,” with strong bipartisan support. The vote in favor of the bill was 81-17. The bill reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and would replace the much-maligned “No Child Left Behind Act.”