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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.”

Posted: July 21, 2017 Chautauqua Of Theodore Roosevelt By Doug Mishler At Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park July 26
Carson Valley Times

Doug Mishler will portray former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.

Born in New York City on October 27, 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was governor of New York before becoming U.S. vice president. At age 42, Roosevelt became the youngest man to assume the U.S. presidency after President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He won a second term in 1904. Known for his anti-monopoly policies and ecological conservationism, Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese War.

In his presentation, Theodore Roosevelt will share his outdoor adventures exploring and hunting, his many varied political careers, the events and decisions of his Presidency, as well as his experiences as a Rough Rider, environmentalist, and progressive reformer.

This event is sponsored by Soaring NV, Douglas County, Bently Ranch, Dr. James the Dentist, NV Energy, Ridge Tahoe Resort, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Carson Valley Inn, Carson Valley Times, Carson Valley Accounting, Horsetales Magazine, Allied Sanitation and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. This event is also made possible with the assistance of Nevada Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: July 21, 2017 Congress Poised to Fund Libraries, Save the NEH and NEA
Publishers Weekly

On Wednesday, the full House Appropriations Committee voted to approve FY2018 funding for libraries. By a 28-22 margin, the committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) funding bill, which proposes roughly $231 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—including $183.6 million for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) programs, and $27 million for the Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program—essentially at 2017 funding levels.

A post on the ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch e-newsletter, said the “successful and extremely important" full Appropriations Committee vote represents another "major milestone" in the ALA’s Fight for Libraries! Campaign—but acknowledged there are hurdles still to come.

The key votes come after President Trump in May doubled down on his call to eliminate IMLS and virtually all federal funding for libraries, as well as a host of other vital programs and agencies, including the NEH and the NEA. And, it comes after Congress, earlier in May, passed a belated 2017 budget that actually upped the IMLS, NEH, and NEA budgets.

The Senate is not expected to take up the funding measures until after the August recess, with the 2017 fiscal year set to end in September 30.