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President Requests $161,315,000 for Humanities Endowment in 2011

WASHINGTON (February 1, 2010)–President Barack Obama today asked Congress for $161,315,000 to fund the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for FY 2011.

As part of the President’s broad effort to reduce the deficit, the figure is frozen at the same level of funding the administration requested for the agency in FY 2010.

The President’s request includes $80,250,000 to enable the Endowment to fund grants in the study, preservation, public programming, and teaching of the humanities, including $2.5 million for a special initiative—Bridging Cultures—to enhance Americans’ understanding of their own rich cultural heritage as well as the cultural complexity of an increasingly interdependent world. An additional $14,050,000 is requested for matching grants, which leverage non-federal support for the humanities.

The budget would direct $38,515,000 to the 56 state and territorial humanities councils to continue activities that range from reading and discussion programs to educational institutes for teachers.

The National Endowment for the Humanities, one of the nation’s leading funders of humanities programs, awards competitive grants through a rigorous peer review process to the nation’s museums, archives, libraries, colleges and universities, public television and radio stations, as well as to individual scholars and teachers. To spread the wisdom of the humanities as broadly as possible, the NEH supports museum exhibitions, documentary films, scholarly monographs, programs for teachers and the preservation of archives and other cultural resources.

The President’s FY 2011 request reflects the following agency goals:

  • Promote understanding of the history, heritage and cultures of people here and around the world;
  • Strengthen humanities teaching in the nation’s schools and colleges;
  • Preserve and increase access to cultural and intellectual resources;
  • Provide opportunities for lifelong learning in the humanities;
  • Facilitate basic research and original scholarship in the humanities;
  • Encourage innovative use of digital information technology;
  • Reinvigorate the teaching and study of history and culture;
  • Strengthen the institutional base of the humanities;
  • Leverage third-party contributions to humanities projects;
  • Disseminate information about the condition of the humanities;
  • Maintain and strengthen programs of the state humanities councils; and
  • Provide administrative funds to operate the agency.

Additional information is available in the detailed budget request of the Endowment's FY 2011 appropriation request. A table with the FY 2011 funding request figures, by division and office with FY 2009 and FY 2010 appropriation amounts, is available as well. Please refer to the box at the top of the page for links to the budget and table PDFs.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or info@neh.gov