Members of the Yale community, particularly those in the arts and humanities, are expressing concerns about President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget, which eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The two endowments, which were created in 1965 and provide funding and support to individuals and institutions in arts and humanities, have awarded grants to faculty members and graduate students at Yale as well as University institutions such as the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Repertory Theatre. According to Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tamar Gendler, Yale has received about 20 grants from the NEA and about 25 from the NEH in the last decade.
“The zeroing out of the national endowments for the arts and humanities is quite simply a horrendous idea,” University President Peter Salovey told the News. “Our country is so enriched by the programs and projects that those endowments support, and the amount of money involved is extremely small relative to other federal expenditures. I think cutting those endowments is a truly bad idea.”
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to imagine life in America, and particularly Mississippi, without music, dance, songs, literature, films, poetry, short stories, novels and all the rich and inspirational aspects they bring to us. Arts and humanities course through our collective veins, one of the reasons tourists from around the world flock to the Magnolia State and the Mississippi River.
In 1790, in the first ever State of the Union address, George Washington told Congress he understood that federal support of agriculture and commercial ventures across the nation needed no special defense. He wanted to insist, however, that the government give equally concrete encouragement to new inventions and "the promotion of science and literature." Why? Knowledge is "the surest basis of public happiness" everywhere. But in a representative democracy, where the laws and policies of the government are molded directly by "the sense of the community," knowledge is essential.
When Washington described laws as the product of the sense of the community, he was choosing his words carefully. In the context of eighteenth-century science and philosophy, "sense" meant not only the facts citizens collectively hold to be true, but also their convictions, opinions, feelings, and self-understanding.
Support for preserving early recordings of All Things Considered is among funding announced Wednesday by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
NPR receives $315,000 for the project, which will also provide listeners with access to ATC content from 1971–83. Directing the initiative is Laura Soto-Barra, chief of research, archives and data strategy.
Public Radio International receives two grants: $300,000 for Studio 360’s “American Icons” series and $180,000 for The World in Words, a podcast about language.
The University of Virginia receives $100,000 for the podcast and former radio show BackStory with the American History Guys and $180,000 for Voices of Vietnam, a public radio series about the war.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced this morning that it was awarded a $173,833 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize, preserve and share its archive of photographs, negatives and other materials from Richmond-born photographer Louis Draper.
Draper, who died in 2002, was largely ignored in his hometown in his lifetime. He earned his fame as a street photographer capturing the every-day life of black Americans and served as a teacher and mentor to other photographers after he moved to New York in 1957.
The VMFA last year acquired a substantial collection of work from Draper's estate, including 2,822 photographs, 42,116 negatives, 748 contact sheets, 4,378 color and black-and-white slides, 36 computer-generated images, and 71 computer disks, as well as his camera equipment and more than 80 linear inches of valuable archival documents and publications.