Urge Support for the Humanities Community During the COVID-19 Crisis

Update, March 23, 2020: Yesterday afternoon, Republican leadership in the Senate released a draft stimulus bill that included only $100 million in spending for the NEH (and an equal amount for the NEA). Later that afternoon, negotiations on that draft bill broke down due to a range of bigger differences, and a vote on a Senate bill has been postponed as negotiations continue. Meanwhile, the House is beginning to draft its own bill rather than waiting to respond to the Senate bill. We expect the House to release its bill later today. 

Additionally, last night Reps. David Price and Chellie Pingree sent a letter to House leadership requesting $500 million in stimulus funding for the NEH. Please join Reps. Price and Pingree and take action to let your Members of Congress know you support stimulus funding for the NEH.

Yesterday afternoon, in collaboration with the Federation of State Humanities Councils, we submitted a letter to both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees outlining the many challenges that humanities institutions and educators are facing due to the COVID-19 crisis. We urged them to include supplemental funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities to alleviate these strains as part of Congress’ next stimulus package. The full letter can be found here.

We are working with the Congressional Humanities Caucus to build support for this funding. Together, we are urging significant supplemental funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities to support: 

  • Direct emergency grants to humanities organizations (museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural organizations, and professional associations) that can be applied to operational expenses to sustain them in this time of crisis. 
  • Funding for state humanities councils to distribute emergency grants to organizations in their state.
  • NEH funding lines to bolster humanities organizations, colleges, and universities in developing the digital content that is now necessary for classroom use and for the digital resources to sustain communities during this moment of crisis.  
  • Virtual professional development opportunities to support K-12 teachers and higher education faculty in developing rich humanities curricula that can be delivered virtually.

We also urged other federal relief to ensure the viability of nonprofit humanities organizations and educators, both in K-12 and higher education, including paid leave and unemployment relief provisions for employees and self-employed workers as well as casually-employed and on contract educators.

Stimulus bills are moving very quickly on the Hill, so we are working to rapidly mobilize the humanities community.

Take action today and ask your Member of Congress to support this supplemental funding!

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