As Congress begins to consider additional COVID-19 relief funding packages, we are calling on humanities advocates to contact their Members of Congress this week to urge additional relief funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. While we are very grateful for $75 million awarded to the NEH in the CARES Act, currently available funding will cover only a fraction of the needed assistance.
Since the CARES Act was passed in March, we have been gathering information through this survey on the programmatic and financial challenges humanities institutions are facing and how they are providing essential services to their communities.
Last week, we shared this information in a statement issued with the Federation of State Humanities Councils that calls on Congress to provide a total of $500 million in support for humanities organizations through the NEH. We have been distributing the statement to our congressional allies in support of their case making and to appropriations staff to help them better understand the landscape.
We have also been working with the offices of Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Rep. David Price (D-NC) to launch a sign-on letter requesting increased relief funding for the NEH and NEA. We are also working with Senator Tom Udall’s (D-NM) office to rally support in the Senate.
We have issued an action alert that urges Representatives to sign-on to Rep. Pingree and Rep. Price’s letter and urges Senators to support increased funding. We hope that you will consider distributing the alert and encouraging your colleagues to take action.
In the coming days and weeks, we will be working with NHA members and other partners in key states and districts to reach the Members of Congress who are positioned to have the most influence in crafting the upcoming relief bills. We will also be reaching out to everyone who advocated on Humanities Advocacy Day to ask them to contact the staffers they met with to share how they are supporting their communities during this time of crisis and why additional funding is so crucial.
We will update you as additional advocacy opportunities arise.