This past Tuesday, we joined forces with the University of Iowa to bring Iowa’s congressional staffers into conversation with 35 representatives from universities, museums, libraries, and archives. Hosted at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) in Cedar Rapids, the event was one in a series of in-district meetings intended to educate public officials on the value of the humanities to their communities.
Earlier this week, the House passed a funding bill that included a $12.5 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which would bring its budget to $167.5 million! If enacted, this would mark a very significant increase after four years of $2 and $3 million increases.
Update, April 17, 2019: As of Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 3 pm the Senate NEH Dear Colleague Letter was finalized and included a record number of signers at 44.
Earlier this month, nearly 200 humanities advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. to make the case for federally-funded humanities programs on Capitol Hill.
Update March 25, 2019: As of Monday, March 25 at 10 am, there are 151 signers on the NEH Dear Colleague Letter. That's 22 up from Friday morning, thank you for all of your advocacy! We are just 16 signers away from surpassing last year's total of 166 signers. Check the list to see if your Member has signed on. If they haven't, there is still time for them to do so.
Last Monday, the Trump administration released the broad outlines of its FY 2020 budget request. Today, the administration released more detailed budget documents.
For the first time since 2015, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies requested public witness testimonies on the impact of NEH and NEA funding. We were pleased to see this request for testimony and also to advance Jessica Unger, emergency programs coordinator at the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation, as a public witness to testify on behalf of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was accepted, and this morning had the opportunity to testify on the many ways the NEH has supported efforts to save cultural heritage in the face of disaster.
“I can see how important this work is to our communities.”
- Representative Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.
Time and again, Members of Congress have told us that they need to better understand the impact of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) on their districts so that they can prioritize the humanities among other needs. In order to foster this understanding, we have begun collaborating on a series of district-based conversations aimed at providing a forum for NEH grantees to share their stories.
Last week, more than 200 humanists gathered for the NHA Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. This event brings together humanities faculty, administrators, and professionals from scholarly societies, museums, and libraries to explore best practices in humanities advocacy and to advocate on Capitol Hill for federally funded humanities programs.
What a week! We spent Tuesday and Wednesday on the Hill with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who came to town to receive the US Capitol Historical Society’s Freedom Award and stayed to advocate for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.