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President requests $154,255,000 for NEH in 2013

WASHINGTON (February 13, 2012)—President Barack Obama asked Congress today to provide $154,255,000 for the National Endowment for the Humanities for fiscal year 2013. The request, which represents a modest increase over the endowment’s current appropriation, includes new funds for a “Bridging Cultures” initiative to enhance Americans’ understanding of the nation’s heritage as well as the cultural complexity of the contemporary world.

The request also includes $3,000,000 to help the Endowment defray costs of moving from its longtime headquarters in the historic Old Post Office Building to a new location.

The budget request for programs, salaries and expenses, $151,255,000, represents a 3.6 percent increase over the current year’s figure.

The President’s request includes:

  • $103,505,000 for the Endowment’s grant programs in support of high quality projects in the humanities, including $40,350,000 for the operations, projects and programs of the 56 state and territorial humanities councils;
  • $9,000,000 to support NEH’s special initiative—Bridging Cultures—designed to renew and reinforce the bridges between the multiplicities of cultures and heritages that are part of the fabric of American life.
  • $11,500,000 in federal matching funds, including funds for the NEH Challenge Grants program to help stimulate and match private donations in support of humanities institutions and organizations;
  • and $27,250,000 for salaries and expenses needed to operate the agency and $3,000,000 to offset some of the cost of the relocation of NEH from its current quarters.

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.

The request will enable NEH to make a credible investment in a range of humanities activities that will yield both immediate and long term returns for the nation.

Read the details of the full budget request here


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