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President Requests $146,255,000 for NEH in 2012

WASHINGTON (February 14, 2011)—President Barack Obama today asked Congress to appropriate $146,255,000 for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in FY 2012.

The President’s request includes:

  • $102,700,000 for the Endowment’s grant programs in support of research, preservation, public programming, and teaching in the humanities, including $40,100,000 for the operations, projects, and programs of the 56 state and territorial humanities councils;
  • $4,000,000 to support NEH’s special initiative—Bridging Cultures—that will enhance Americans’ understanding of the nation’s rich cultural heritage, as well as the cultural complexity of the world in which we live;
  • $11,500,000 in funds to help stimulate and match private donations in support of humanities institutions and organizations; and
  • $28,055,000 for salaries and expenses needed to operate the agency.

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 and its affiliated state councils support scholarly research, public programs, museum exhibitions, documentary films, programs for teachers, and the preservation of archives and other cultural resources.

This request embodies NEH’s obligation to help restrain federal spending at a time of great fiscal challenges for the nation.

The President’s FY 2012 request reflects the following agency goals:

  • Promote understanding of the nation’s history, heritage and culture and those of other societies around the world;
  • Strengthen humanities teaching in the nation’s schools and colleges;
  • Maintain and strengthen the capacity of the state humanities councils to reach every corner of the country with uplifting humanities programs;
  • 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;
  • Strengthen the institutional base of the humanities;
  • Leverage third-party contributions to humanities initiatives; and
  • Disseminate information about the condition of the humanities.

Additional information is available in the detailed budget request (108-page PDF) of the Endowment’s FY 2012 appropriation request. The file is located at the top of this page.


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:

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or