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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: April 12, 2017 Traveling exhibition at Xavier connects Emancipation Proclamation, March on Washington
WGNO News News

Xavier University is hosting a traveling exhibition that draws a direct historical connection between the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the March on Washington 100 years later.

As part of our yearlong commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated 49 years ago this month, we are reflecting on the past, evaluating the present – and seeking solutions for the future.

The traveling exhibition, which debuted in 2014, is called “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963,” and opened to the public at Xavier’s library on March 22.

"Changing America" is presented by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office.

It is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: April 12, 2017 UH Press wins $90,000 grant for open-access publishing of out-of-print books
University of Hawaiʻi News

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Hawai‘i a $90,000 grant to digitize 100 out-of-print University of Hawai‘i Press books for open access.

The project is part of the Humanities Open Book Program, a joint initiative between the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for supporting our open-access initiatives,” said Trond Knutsen, UH Press digital publishing manager. “Now, with the advent of digital technology, these works can become available to a new generation of readers around the world.”

UH Press selected the 100 titles—representing fields such as Asian studies, Pacific studies, linguistics, anthropology and history—based on their contemporary scholarly relevance, historical significance, and practical value for teaching and research purposes.

“This initiative will be an enormous contribution to the advance of scholarship globally, but particularly for colleagues and students in places in Asia and the Pacific where libraries are inadequate and access to printed scholarly sources is difficult,” said Barbara Watson Andaya, chair of the UH Mānoa Asian Studies Program.

Posted: April 12, 2017 What happens to Indy if the arts and humanities are defunded?
NUVO

It was a philosopher named George Santayana from the 1800s who said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The phrase rings eerily true in our political climate today. Nearly every element of democracy as we know it seems to be threatened under Donald Trump’s reign; from human rights to health, and even the arts. The crosshairs of the Oval Office moved over the The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) when President Trump released his budget proposal last month. The proposal calls for the elimination of the two endowments and zero funding for CPB. The budgets for the NEA and NEH equal about $300 million annually. 

While Trump pinpointing the arts might seem mild compared to the power that he could exude as the commander-in-chief, it’s Santayana’s quote that reminds us why these organizations were first created. 

Posted: April 11, 2017 U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, in Canandaigua, promises fight for arts and humanities funding
Brighton-Pittsford Post

A crowd Monday filled the Ontario County Historical Museum for the arrival of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who chose the museum as a platform for her support of the arts and humanities.  From a podium surrounded by local leaders before a crowd of librarians, elected officials, arts nonprofit supporters and others, Gillibrand said eliminating this funding would “particularly hurt communities and towns like those throughout the Finger Lakes.”

Not every school and not every parent, especially in rural areas, can give children “the chance to experience and learn about art, music, dance, language and literature,” said Gillibrand. These programs “level the playing field for communities,” she said, ensuing that children and all people of any community — regardless of income and other differences — can benefit.

The NEA and the NEH have an annual budget each of $148 million. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would eliminate that funding covering numerous agencies and programs including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, among others.

“We should never allow these programs to be cut, and I will continue to do everything in my power to stand up for communities that don’t have a lot of resources and rely on these programs,” Gillibrand said.

Posted: April 11, 2017 Eleven House Republicans Have Signed a Letter Asking to Increase National Arts Funding Instead of Eliminating It
SPIN

In recent weeks, numerous Republicans have come out in support of publicly funded arts programs. “These agencies and their contributions will be evaluated through the appropriations process with all other discretionary programs,” said Republican senator Lisa Murkowski, who’s part of a Senate appropriations panel that oversees the endowments. “I believe we can find a way to commit to fiscal responsibility while continuing to support the important benefits that NEA and NEH provide.”

Posted: April 11, 2017 Playing the Trump card: Threat of federal funding cuts dominates NYC budget talks
City & State, NY

Every year, hundreds of New York City groups receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services – all of which Trump has proposed eliminating. The money does not generally flow through the city budget, but tax revenues could drop if tourism dips as museums, art venues and cultural institutions whither, said New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “So cultural (organizations) and the arts – the primary driver of tourism in the city – generates the revenue that then pays for all of the programs for the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” he said. “If Donald Trump unleashes an assault on the city of New York, by devastating public housing, public health – I would add as chair of (the Committee on) Cultural Affairs and Libraries – the arts and the humanities and culture, we’re not going to be able to make all of that up in savings or efficiencies, nor should we have to.”

Posted: April 11, 2017 Trump's budget does not support causes that make America great
The Beacon

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an agency that awards funding to “museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and individual scholars,” receives $148 million per year, or 0.003 percent of the 2016 federal budget. The proposed Trump budget would eliminate the agency. The aforementioned institutions supported by the NEH serve to widen our understanding of the world while also raising our cultural awareness and tolerance. What message does eradicating the agency communicate about the work these institutions do and the roles they play in our lives?

Posted: April 11, 2017 City Hall rally protests Trump’s proposed cuts to the arts
Times Ledger

The arts and culture are a $730 billion industry nationwide employing more than 4.7 million workers. In New York City, the arts accounts for more than 8 percent of the total workforce, employing more than 300,000 people.

“Art and culture have a profound impact on communities across New York City and beyond,” City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl said. “Supporting the people and organizations that create art and provide opportunities to experience culture is an essential responsibility in our democracy.”

The proposed cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the three other organizations altogether amount to .02 percent of the federal budget, according to Mark-Viverito.

Posted: April 11, 2017 Cutting funding for the arts imperils our nation’s future
Chicago Sun Times

I personally can attest to the value of National Endowment for the Humanities grants, as I received a teacher scholarship to study humanities at University of Southern California.  It was a wonderful opportunity to both study with a brilliant national scholar and then use that learning with my own students.   Ralph J. Amelio, Norwood Park

Posted: April 11, 2017 Trump budget proposal to cut research funding at Tufts
Tufts Daily

Funding for projects run by professors and opportunities for student research would also be affected by the proposed cuts. Classics Professor and Editor-in-Chief of the Perseus Digital Library Gregory Crane said elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services and cuts to the Department of Education will all have consequences for his research. 

Perseus Digital Library, a virtual library of openly licensed texts translated to various languages, is dependent on funding from the NEH, he said. Funding allowed Perseus and other projects to create data, hire programmers and provide grants to students, according to Crane.

“We’ve built up a library of openly licensed texts in various languages which people can use for research and for teaching,” he said. “It’s very important these texts are open, that is to say anyone can use them … we couldn’t have done that without having had any support for that and if we don’t have an NEH, we’ll have no support for that.”

However, Crane noted that the currently proposed cuts are not inconsistent with the actions of other presidents, who have made similar cuts on a lower scale. Crane attributed this trend to a lack of support in the United States for research in the humanities.

Trump has proposed to eliminate funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the NEA and the [Institute of Museum and Library Sciences], and that is obviously a catastrophic change from what happened before,” he said. “But the U.S. has never provided very generous funding in comparison to Germany and the European Union.”