According to the New York Times, the White House budget office has compiled a list of nine programs worthy of elimination. Among them: the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A final budget — including a list of the eliminated programs — is expected around March 13th.
Timothy Murray is director of Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities and sits on the board of the National Humanities Alliance, as well as other national institutes for the advancement of humanities education. Murray says that cuts to the National Endowment for the Humanities – currently under consideration by the Trump administration - will have a massive impact on cultural and historical sectors across the country.
Programming like AZ Humanities’ “Miranda v Arizona: 50 Years Later,” a community discussion on the landmark Supreme Court Case held Tuesday night in the historic Ellis-Shackelford House, is in jeopardy. According to a report in The Hill in January, the federal budget blueprint contains a plan to cut all funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The new president of the United States threatens to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities altogether, gutting what public funding remains for the WVHC. In some states, the donations of private individuals might save their humanities programming; I suspect in West Virginia it will not be enough. West Virginians will lose a valuable resource, and its children will grow up knowing much less about the history, culture and values of their state.
Trump intends to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and privatize the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, the government entity that partially funds both NPR and PBS. This is a political strategy that devalues not just the arts, but Democracy itself. And it’s really not about the money. The entire budget for the NEA, for example, is less than what we, the people, are spending to fund the separate living arrangements for Donald and Melania.