The Trump administration may soon eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) entirely as part of a plan to curb spending. The administration plans to cut $10 trillion, nearly all of our budget’s non-discretionary spending, over the next 10 years.
The NEA has been the life-blood and foundation of the arts community across our nation since 1965. They provide grants for dance, music, drama, literature, outreach education, and so much more. The NEH offers research funding to museums, libraries, and colleges. Together, these two organizations enrich the arts in America, giving creativity and freedom of speech a voice. Don’t allow these organizations to slip away quietly. Keep reading to learn how you can help.
What is the NEH?
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1965 to support “scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future” (National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965). It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.
What does it do?
The NEH awards grants that typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, radio stations, and to individual scholars. In fact, the Center for Public Humanities was recently awarded an NEH grant for our Humanities Ladder program.
These grants allow for projects to deeply reach into communities across the country by way of exhibitions that help preserve valuable heritage collections, historic installations, discussion programs at local libraries, or simply by allowing us to indulge in the humanities from the comfort of our own homes through documentaries, radio programs, websites, and apps.
What is in jeopardy?
President Trump has proposed the elimination of National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts funding in order to eliminate some of the country’s debt. Further drastic cuts could threaten programs that provide important support for humanities teaching, scholarship, preservation, and public programs in communities across America. For example, the NEH provides support for some 56,000 lectures, discussions, exhibitions and other programs annually. The NEH and NEA only require a combined .006% of the federal budget.
Why should you care?
The NEH serves to strengthen our democracy by promoting excellence in the humanities, while conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. Through the strengthening of teaching and learning provided to us through the NEH, we are better able to learn about and tell the stories of our communities and our nation. The NEH facilitates research, provides opportunities for lifelong learning, preserves and provides access to cultural and educational resources, and strengthens the institutional base of the humanities
How can you help?
Take action! Let your voice be heard by calling and writing to your local Members of Congress and letting them know that you value the NEH and NEA.
Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress and the President.
You can also sign the petition.
How have the humanities impacted you? Share your experiences below.
If you're an SRU student, take this opportunity to share why the humanities are important to you via our Shout Out for the Humanities contest!
Our vision is to create a community of learners enriched, engaged and enlightened through the humanities.