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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
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.

Posted: April 12, 2017 Access Academy helps immigrant students realize their potential
The Union Leader

Recently, the National Endowment for the Humanities guaranteed the academy would expand with a $100,000 grant, one of only two awarded in the country to serve high school students.

The college’s Meelia Center for Community Engagement sponsors the academy and enlists St. Anselm students as instructors and coordinators of seven different high school credit courses ranging from creative writing to environmental studies and computer literacy.

Several instructors said they got more out of the experience than did the high school students.

Posted: April 12, 2017 Traveling exhibition at Xavier connects Emancipation Proclamation, March on Washington
WGNO News News

Xavier University is hosting a traveling exhibition that draws a direct historical connection between the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the March on Washington 100 years later.

As part of our yearlong commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated 49 years ago this month, we are reflecting on the past, evaluating the present – and seeking solutions for the future.

The traveling exhibition, which debuted in 2014, is called “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963,” and opened to the public at Xavier’s library on March 22.

"Changing America" is presented by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office.

It is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: April 12, 2017 UH Press wins $90,000 grant for open-access publishing of out-of-print books
University of Hawaiʻi News

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Hawai‘i a $90,000 grant to digitize 100 out-of-print University of Hawai‘i Press books for open access.

The project is part of the Humanities Open Book Program, a joint initiative between the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for supporting our open-access initiatives,” said Trond Knutsen, UH Press digital publishing manager. “Now, with the advent of digital technology, these works can become available to a new generation of readers around the world.”

UH Press selected the 100 titles—representing fields such as Asian studies, Pacific studies, linguistics, anthropology and history—based on their contemporary scholarly relevance, historical significance, and practical value for teaching and research purposes.

“This initiative will be an enormous contribution to the advance of scholarship globally, but particularly for colleagues and students in places in Asia and the Pacific where libraries are inadequate and access to printed scholarly sources is difficult,” said Barbara Watson Andaya, chair of the UH Mānoa Asian Studies Program.

Posted: April 12, 2017 What happens to Indy if the arts and humanities are defunded?

It was a philosopher named George Santayana from the 1800s who said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The phrase rings eerily true in our political climate today. Nearly every element of democracy as we know it seems to be threatened under Donald Trump’s reign; from human rights to health, and even the arts. The crosshairs of the Oval Office moved over the The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) when President Trump released his budget proposal last month. The proposal calls for the elimination of the two endowments and zero funding for CPB. The budgets for the NEA and NEH equal about $300 million annually. 

While Trump pinpointing the arts might seem mild compared to the power that he could exude as the commander-in-chief, it’s Santayana’s quote that reminds us why these organizations were first created. 

Posted: April 11, 2017 U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, in Canandaigua, promises fight for arts and humanities funding
Brighton-Pittsford Post

A crowd Monday filled the Ontario County Historical Museum for the arrival of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who chose the museum as a platform for her support of the arts and humanities.  From a podium surrounded by local leaders before a crowd of librarians, elected officials, arts nonprofit supporters and others, Gillibrand said eliminating this funding would “particularly hurt communities and towns like those throughout the Finger Lakes.”

Not every school and not every parent, especially in rural areas, can give children “the chance to experience and learn about art, music, dance, language and literature,” said Gillibrand. These programs “level the playing field for communities,” she said, ensuing that children and all people of any community — regardless of income and other differences — can benefit.

The NEA and the NEH have an annual budget each of $148 million. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would eliminate that funding covering numerous agencies and programs including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, among others.

“We should never allow these programs to be cut, and I will continue to do everything in my power to stand up for communities that don’t have a lot of resources and rely on these programs,” Gillibrand said.