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Office of Communications 

The Office of Communications represents the National Endowment for the Humanities in communications with the media and members of the public. Its mission is to disseminate information about NEH grant programs and products and to promote the importance of the humanities our country’s cultural advancement and in enriching the lives of its citizens.

The Office of Communications publishes news releases and other information, works with the news media to keep them informed of the work of the agency and its grantees, manages the agency’s website and social media, and publishes announcements of NEH grants. The office also responds to media requests, arranges interviews with NEH staff, and coordinates major NEH public events, including the National Humanities Medals and the annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities.

To reach NEH’s Office of Communications, please contact:

telephone: 202-606-8446

To find the Grantee Communication Toolkit click here

Recent News

William Theodore de Bary

Remembering William Theodore de Bary

Professor of Asian studies and recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal
National History Day

Thirty Middle and High School Students Named National Endowment for the Humanities Scholars at 2017 National History Day

Thirty middle and high school students named National Endowment for the Humanities Scholars at 2017 National History Day
Dr. Philip Gossett, "Verdi: Uncensored," September 25, 2013

Remembering Philip Gossett

A distinguished musicologist whose scholarly work transformed the way opera is studied, performed, and perceived.
Frank Deford and President Obama

Remembering Frank Deford

The National Humanities Medalist revealed the humanity in the games we love.
September 30, 2017

Religious Liberty in America

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution dictates that Congress “shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. In Arizona, we’ve been confronted with this question in recent years because of public debates over women’s reproductive rights and proposals to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

September 29, 2017

Immigrants and the American Dream

The United States of America has long touted itself as a land of immigrants and has grown phenomenally from migration since its beginnings in an ever expanding global economy. Yet the source and substance of immigration have been topics of continuous debate. How do domestic conditions, regional competitions, geopolitics, and foreign policy affect the discourse about who could and should become an American?  How do immigrants become Americans?  How do immigrants affect American vitality?   

Join us for a Frank Talk to ponder the question, what does it mean to be an American.

September 27, 2017

The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings, 1860s–1930s

This Humanities Texas traveling exhibition looks at early Texas buildings for information about settlers' visions of community and progress and their accommodation to the physical demands and economic realities of everyday life.

September 21, 2017

Racial Literacy and Social Media

Many parents and educators avoid conversations about race and racism with their children and students, yet young people are regularly exposed to images, stories, videos and statements that reflect racial societal attitudes. This exposure often comes through social media, such as YouTube videos, tweets, Facebook posts and Tumblr blogs.

September 20, 2017

Southern Arizona Cemeteries

Throughout the ages we humans have had a need to mark the time and place where people make the final stop on their journey from this world to the next. Sometimes it is a simple cross on rock covered earth while others are elaborate tombstones which tell something of the lives of their residents. There is probably nothing so poignant as a tiny tombstone marking the death of a child whose duration on earth is measured from a few minutes to a few years.

Posted: July 25, 2017 Initiative blends STEM with humanities
The Herald Tribune

A new grant from Indiana Humanities will provide up to $4,000 for libraries, museums, schools, historical societies and other tax-exempt organizations to develop programs that connect science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) with the humanities (history, literature, philosophy, religion, world languages and culture, etc.). The grant program is part of Indiana Humanities’ new thematic initiative, called Quantum Leap, which explores the spirit of possibility and problem solving that occurs when bridging the STEM fields with the humanities.

“We’re especially eager to support experimental ideas that not only combine STEM and the humanities, but also fuse together formats and methods in unexpected and creative ways,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We encourage organizations to dream up programs that spotlight how Hoosiers have and could create a better society through innovation, as well as how Hoosiers can wrestle with the changes wrought by STEM innovation—which is both exciting and scary.”

Funding for Indiana Humanities’ grant programs is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: July 25, 2017 Taw Caw receives grant for Briggs v. Elliot exhibit
Manning Live, SC

Twenty-five teacher scholars from across the country will be able to hear stories directly from the children of the Briggs v. Elliott plaintiffs. Discussions will be facilitated by Dr. Bernard Powers of the College of Charleston and Dr. Patricia Sullivan of the University of South Carolina.
“The goal of the exhibit is to create a visual history that will enhance the oral stories which will be captured during the NEH Institute visit,” Hammett said. “The exhibit will be open and available for the community and the stories collected from the children of the plaintiffs will be placed at the Clarendon County Archives and History for future public use.”

Dr. Minuette Floyd of the University of South Carolina will curate a display of photos, letters and family artifacts to complement the exhibit.
“Therefore, the Summerton experience will be structured around oral history, investigation of archival and in-print primary sources, the ‘Courage’ exhibit and a scholar-led session,” Hammett said. “Project advisors and staff will be on hand to help with the event, ensuring that content remains in place for the local community to use through its local archives and history agency.”

The 2017 Institute will place special emphasis on local oral history and memory as evidenced by having the teachers interact directly with the surviving children of the Briggs v. Elliott plaintiffs. Local educators will have access to lesson plans and visual essays that will grow out of the Summerton event via the NEH Summer Institute website at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Posted: July 21, 2017 A Bill Funding Arts and Humanities Endowments Passes House Committee
New York Times

Four months after President Trump proposed eliminating the cultural agencies altogether, a bill to continue to finance the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities won approval this week from the House appropriations committee.

The House bill, part of the process of thrashing out the federal budget for fiscal year 2018, includes $145 million for each endowment. The amounts represent a cut of about $5 million to each agency, but is a stark contrast to President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the endowments entirely as outlined in his first federal budget plan he announced in March.

That proposal was a political statement about the president’s wishes; Congress writes the federal budget, and those line items are now being thrashed out in the House and Senate.

The cultural funds — a small part of the broader interior and environment appropriations bill — may eventually receive a vote by the full House, perhaps as one part of a bigger omnibus bill after the summer recess.

Posted: July 21, 2017 Nothing laudatory about drifting away from traditional liberal arts
Boston Globe

Merrimack College’s new approach (“Giving it the new college try,” Page A1, July 18) is neither new nor laudatory. I taught there from 1965 to 1985. During earlier years the school’s mission was to introduce, to educate its blue-collar constituency in the liberal arts and sciences. As a professor in a developing English department dedicated to writing and literary study, and in a humanities division offering team-taught courses, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in history, fine arts, classical literature, philosophy, and theology, I taught students who continued their education in law school, medical school, social services, broadcasting, even politics, as well as in graduate work and teaching in English.

By the 1980s the school’s mission became “pragmatic,” catering to those equating college with vocational training. Our English majors dropped from about 50 graduates to 10, our department declining toward a service department. Because of my scholarly publications, which were of little consequence at Merrimack, I was invited to Brigham Young University and spent the next 22 years where the liberal arts were still valued.

It is lamentable that a college identifying as Catholic has in fact a history of moving away from the traditional liberal arts. The drift, national really, has much to do with our loss of ideals.

Posted: July 21, 2017 Vermont Arts Council appoints executive director - Karen Mittelman Appointed Vermont Arts Council Executive Director
The Vermont Digger

Karen Mittelman Appointed Vermont Arts Council Executive Director
National Endowment for the Humanities Director of Public Programs Will Take the Helm in October

The Vermont Arts Council today announced that Karen S. Mittelman, Ph.D., has accepted the position of executive director for the state arts agency. Mittelman is currently director of the Division of Public Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in Washington, D.C. She brings to the Arts Council more than thirty years of experience in the public sector and the federal cultural arena. In addition to the NEH, Mittelman held a senior position at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and served as curator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

“I’m honored and excited to join the Vermont Arts Council in its vital mission,” said Mittelman. “This is a challenging time for artists and cultural organizations, and it is also a time when the arts are essential to the life and strength of our communities. I look forward to working with my new colleagues and with our partners across the state to learn about, build on, and enhance Vermont’s deep commitment to the arts.”

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