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Posted: April 12, 2017 Mr. President, do we have a deal for you
The Sentinel Source, NH

A recent Bureau of Economic Analysis report noted the arts, entertainment and hospitality sector generates 4.2 percent of the United States gross domestic product — $704 billion. It accounts for more than $100 billion higher than the construction industry. Yet the president’s budget would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts’ $148 million budget, the National Endowment for the Humanities’ $148 million budget and $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

These cuts, together, would trim a whopping 0.2 percent of federal spending. They are described in The Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance,” upon which the Trump budget is based, as “wasteful federal spending.”

In contrast, in his 10 weeks in office, Trump has spent about $24 million of taxpayer money on seven trips to Mar-a-Lago. Over the course of the year, at this pace, he’ll spend nearly the National Endowment for the Arts’ budget just on golf outings and “summits” that could be held anywhere — say, at the White House, for example.

But of course, not all national spending is equal. While the president’s weekly trips to Mar-a-Lago are costing taxpayers millions, they’re benefiting … Mar-a-Lago, which he owns, and which doubled its membership fee to $200,000 a year when he became president. Conversely, every dollar of direct federal funding on the arts and humanities leverages up to $9 in other funds.

Posted: April 12, 2017 Preserve national arts funding
Casper Star Tribune

The NEH sends federal money to the Wyoming Humanities Council – money that makes up 70 percent of the group’s budget. There, it’s used to fund cultural activities throughout the state, like the Casper Humanities Festival, lecture series, reading programs and more.

Arts and humanities actually help contribute to the state’s bottom line. They boost Wyoming’s burgeoning tourism economy by attracting visitors to festivals and museums. Those visitors pour money into local economies during their stay. Cities like Casper or Cheyenne might be able to find the money to hold those kinds of events themselves, but more rural areas like Lusk, Lovell or Newcastle, to name a few, would truly struggle.

Posted: April 12, 2017 VSU Archives and Special Collections Receives National Recognition
Valdosta State University News, GA

Valdosta State University’s Archives and Special Collections was recently featured on the National Endowment for the Humanities website as part of its “50 States of Preservation” series.
 
“The National Endowment for the Humanities is an important organization that works with archives, museums, and libraries all over the United States,” said Deborah Davis, director of VSU Archives and Special Collections. “They are one of the largest national funders of humanities programs.
 
“They chose VSU Archives and Special Collections to represent the state of Georgia. It is a huge honor for our digital preservation program to receive national recognition, and the National Endowment for the Humanities helped us do that.”
 
The article highlights the university’s journey to secure digital preservation. After a series of freak accidents in 2011, VSU Archives and Special Collections lost more than 80 gigabytes worth of electronic files. They received a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant in 2012 and were able to implement better hardware, more consistent policies and procedures for tracking items, and a comprehensive digital preservation strategy.

Posted: April 12, 2017 Kansas Humanities Council marks 45 years
McPherson Sentinel, KS

The Kansas Humanities Council is celebrating 45 years of bringing history and culture to communities across the state this year.  Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kansas Humanities Council awards grants and organizes speakers, authors and films about current issues and historical events. Events are provided at a minimal cost to the hosting organizations and are free for the public to attend.

Posted: April 12, 2017 Vernon County Museum Notes
La Crosse Tribune

“War Declared!” announced a small headline on the front page of the Vernon County Censor on April 11, 1917. No giant type across the top of the page, no photographs of a nation preparing to enter the Great War – just one column of information in amongst stories of the spring election and other news. The article noted that President Wilson “solemnly warns all subjects of Germany within our country to keep within bounds in action and speech,” a pointed remark for a state with a very large German immigrant population.

The museum is preparing new exhibits to mark this 100th anniversary of World War I. The first exhibit is already up, featuring colorful “souvenirs” that soldiers purchased as gifts for their loved ones. These weren’t so much souvenirs of the war as souvenirs of the places where the soldiers were sent. Most of the items on display are from France, where the majority of those sent overseas spent time during and after the war.