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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: May 24, 2017 It Will Cost 25% of the NEA and NEH’s 2017 Budget Just to Shut Them Down
artnet news

Turns out that going out of business is very expensive. In the wake of the release of President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have been forced to determine just how much it will cost them. The two organizations—which would be eliminated under Trump’s proposed budget—published reports today that outline exactly what resources would be needed to shut themselves down in an orderly fashion.

The total amount of money requested to fund the wind-down of these agencies—$71 million—is nearly 25% of their total budget last year (just under $300 million). Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, which includes major spending increases for the military and border security and dramatic cuts to domestic programs, totals $4.1 trillion.

Posted: May 24, 2017 UB receives prestigious NEH grant to support 2017 educators’ summer seminar in Buffalo

The 2017 summer seminar “Emmanuel Levinas on Morality, Justice, and the Political” is the fifth in a series presented by Professor Richard A. Cohen of UB's  Department of Jewish Thought, but the first funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“I’m honored and happy to receive this grant,” says Cohen, former director of the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, and first chair of the Department of Jewish Thought in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Cohen believes the success of the first four Levinas Philosophy Summer Seminars and a change in the NEH funding process to include one-week programs helped UB win the prestigious grant. The $70,000 award covers free tuition and stipends for the 16 NEH Summer Scholars taking part in the seminar.

Posted: May 24, 2017 $100K grant from National Endowment for the Humanities provides funds to explore war and its effects through art
Appalachian State University News

Three Appalachian State University professors have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to bring together veterans and their families to discuss how the humanities affect the understanding of armed conflict.

Part of the NEH’s “Dialogues on the Experience of War” program, this grant project was developed by Dr. Valerie Wieskamp, Department of Communication; Dr. Lynn Searfoss, Department of English; and Dr. Clark Maddux, Watauga Residential College.

The interdisciplinary project, titled “Blurred Boundaries: The Experience of War and Its Aftermath,” will explore the ways in which texts, photographs and films illuminate two wars: the U.S. Civil War and Vietnam. Discussions surrounding the Civil War will focus on material related to western North Carolina, and connections will be drawn between the ambiguities of that war and Vietnam.

Posted: May 24, 2017 White House Proposes Closing the National Endowment for the Humanities in Fall 2017
Book Riot

For months, there have been murmurings that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) might be in trouble. The NEH is a US federal agency that was created in 1965. Since then, it has given grants to archives, libraries, museums, and scholars in order to support research and provide access to educational resources. Among other things, it has helped fund over 7,000 books, the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War, and the United States Newspaper Project, which resulted in the creation of a digital newspaper archive. Millions of people have been benefited from programs funded by the NEH.

And the Trump administration wants to shut it down along with 65 other programs, beginning this fall.

On May 23, 2017, the administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. As part of it, the White House is seeking $42 million in order to “undertake an orderly shutdown of the [NEH]’s core operations” to begin on October 1, 2017.

Posted: May 23, 2017 N.E.H. Chairman to Step Down, Citing Personal Reasons
New York Times

William D. Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be stepping down effective Tuesday, the endowment announced, ending a three-year tenure.

Mr. Adams cited “personal reasons,” as well as the Trump administration’s decision to appoint a new liaison to the endowment.

“I think it’s getting to be a time that’s appropriate for me to step aside and let this transition go forward,” Mr. Adams said in an interview.

The exit comes at a time when the endowment’s future is in doubt: President Trump called for its elimination, along with that of the National Endowment for the Arts, when he rolled out his budget blueprint in March.

The Trump administration’s new liaison to the N.E.H. is Jon Parrish Peede, an arts advocate with a long experience working at the endowment for the arts. From 2011 to 2016, Mr. Peede was the publisher of the Virginia Quarterly Review. Before that, he had served for eight years in various roles at the arts endowment, including as its literature director and as a counselor to the former chairman Dana Gioia.

Posted: May 23, 2017 Bro Adams Announces Resignation as NEH Chairman
The Chronicle of Higher Education

William D. (Bro) Adams will resign as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities on Tuesday.

The resignation, announced in a news release on Monday, coincides with the planned release of President Trump’s budget proposal, which is expected to include extensive cuts in government programs. Mr. Adams took over as the 10th chairman of the NEH in July 2014. Since President Trump took office, a number of budget moves have included calls to strip funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, which have long been political footballs in the budget-making process.

Despite the funding debate, the arts and humanities endowments got a small boost this month when congressional leaders supported the programs in a bill that funded the rest of the 2017 fiscal year. Mr. Adams mentioned that increase in a brief statement explaining his departure.

“We’re encouraged that Congress and the president increased our funding for the current year and that the White House has initiated the process of bringing new political appointees to the agency,” Mr. Adams said in a written statement.

Margaret Plympton, the NEH’s deputy chair, will serve as acting chair.

Posted: May 23, 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Head Resigns the Day Before Trump’s Budget Drops
artnet news

William D. Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities has resigned, and will leave his post effective tomorrow.

“Leading this important organization has been one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life,” he said in a brief statement published on the NEH website. “I’m especially appreciative of the excellent and dedicated staff of the agency, who taught me so much about the importance of the humanities and the innovative and meaningful work that is going on at NEH and across the country.”

A former president of Colby College, Adams was appointed NEH head in 2014 by President Barack Obama and sought to increase the public visibility of the humanities through programs such as “Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square,” which emphasized the relevance of the humanities in contemporary society. “We wanted to show how important the humanities are to the really big questions we’re grappling with as a country and indeed as a global community.”

Although the government’s budget bill passed by Congress earlier this month increased NEH funding by $2 million until the end of the year, political blog The Hill speculated that Adams’s resignation was tied to the announcement of President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, which is due to be unveiled on Tuesday. The site noted that Trump initially called for the elimination of the NEH and the NEA in preliminary budget plans released in March.

The NEH oversees government grants for organizations and projects in the fields of history, literature, philosophy, and other humanities. Deputy Chair Margaret Plympton will serve as acting chair until a successor is appointed.

Posted: May 23, 2017 Protect the NEA and NEH
Topeka Capital-Journal

Although the NEA and NEH have survived more than 100 days of the Trump administration, Kansans from Colby to Topeka need to keep reminding Washington that art and culture remain vital priorities in our state.

Posted: May 23, 2017 Trump Budget Proposes Eventual Elimination of Public Broadcasting Funding
Yahoo News

President Trump’s proposed 2017-18 budget, set to be unveiled on Tuesday, does not completely wipe out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting but anticipates that federal money to stations and programming will end.

“There’s a little money left in the budget to allow us to wind down the federal position,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters on Monday. “I think we account for 15 percent of their funding right now. So we don’t take it to zero right away, but we do anticipate to.”

Such a move is not a surprise. An outline that the White House released in March proposed eliminating financial support for the CPB, which provides funding to public TV stations, NPR, and PBS. Its appropriation has been running at about $445 million in recent years.

Mulvaney did not say whether the budget also eliminates the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, but those cuts were also in the budget outline.

Posted: May 23, 2017 Heritage Museum’s opening day to include living history with Greg Smith
The Western News

Opening day at the Heritage Museum on June 3 will include the Montana Conversations program “A Visit With An 1879 American Fur Company Trader,” a living history performance with Greg Smith, according to a museum news release.

Smith brings to life the adventures and stories of James W. Schultz through the fictitious character of Jim Deakins, the news release states. As Deakins, Smith will describe the hunting of the last of the great bison herds in 1879 and in the adventures of the Blackfeet tribe and its enemy the Crow, among other stories from Montana history.

Smith, who lives in Bozeman, was a naturalist and backcountry ranger in Glacier National Park for almost 20 years, the news release states.

Funding for the Montana Conversations program is provided by Humanities Montana through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Montana’s Cultural Trust, and private donations.