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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
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.

Posted: May 23, 2017 Tougaloo College and MS Art Museum partner in Civil Rights Initiative
Mississippi Public Broadcasting News

Tougaloo College and the Mississippi Museum of Art are teaming up to launch the Art and Civil Rights Initiative. The program will include exhibits from Tougaloo's art collection as well as work from the museum. It will also include lectures and workshops geared to discussing civil rights issues. Tougaloo President Beverly Wade Hogan says art and civil rights go hand in hand. 

"People don't always think about art having any bearings on civil and human rights but it really touches us. It touches our soul and it really speaks to our own humanity and particularly during the Civil Rights Movement when everybody was under a lot of frustrations and dissatisfaction about the state of world affairs and the turbulence that was going on among the races." 

President Donald Trump has called for cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for Humanities. Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson says programs like the Arts and Civil Rights Initiative are an important way to preserve history. 

"We only as good as a country as we are in protecting our history, and our culture and if we decide that our history and our culture is not worth preserving then what does that say about us as a nation. So, I'm going to oppose cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities." 

Posted: May 23, 2017 Remembering John F. Kennedy And His Legacy
Huff Post

In addition to remembering Kennedy’s accomplishments and legacy in these areas and others, we both have our own more personal memories of JFK. Frank Islam’s are recent. Ed Crego’s date back much earlier.

Frank has been a board member of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 2013. He remembers walking into the Center for his first board meeting: and reading the following words of President Kennedy etched there:

I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well.

Frank vowed then to help continue to move America forward through the arts. He renewed that commitment in 2017 when the role of the Kennedy Center as a protector and promoter of the arts and artists became even more important with the potential elimination of funding for those organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities from the federal budget.

As millions of youth in the ‘60’s, Ed Crego was inspired by JFK and his call to “… ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Posted: May 23, 2017 Documentary creating archive of West Virginians in Vietnam War
Charleston Gazette-Mail

WVPB has told the story of West Virginians in wartime in a previous documentary, “West Virginians at War,” which included Vietnam.

But the occasion of the new Burns’ series and the companion WVPB documentary offered a chance to dig deeper into West Virginians’ role in the war, Higgins said.

“This was an opportune time, when the entire nation was going to be watching a Vietnam series, that we tell our own story,” she said. “Not only do we tell it and share it, but that we archive it.”

Higgins’ fellow documentarian Barbour noted past WVPB documentaries have featured material from the state archives. But the Vietnam series offered a chance to gather a fuller picture in the archives of the war’s impact on West Virginians.

“We realized between the two organizations we just don’t have that much that really shows West Virginians specifically in Vietnam in that theater of war,” he said. “This is a good opportunity to ask for help.”

The documentary, partly funded with a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council through the National Endowment for the Humanities, focuses on five West Virginia soldiers from Chesapeake, Buckhannon, Kaiser, Bunker Hill and Morgantown.

Posted: May 23, 2017 Adams Out at NEH - Humanities leaders had hoped to see William D. Adams, an Obama appointee, finish his term. The agency is among several targeted for elimination by the White House.
Inside Higher Ed

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced Monday the resignation of Chairman William D. Adams, effective today.  Adams was an Obama appointee, but the position is among those in the executive branch in which terms can go past a change in administration. His four-year term wouldn't have been up until 2018.

Advocates for the humanities said they were sorry to see him go no matter the timing. His departure, though, comes at a time when federal support for the arts and humanities is subject to renewed threat from the Trump administration and some Republicans in Congress. The White House is expected to release a 2018 budget proposal today that will call for eliminating funding for the NEH as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.

Posted: May 22, 2017 NEH Chairman William D. Adams Announces Resignation
National Endowment for the Humanities

William D. Adams, the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced today his resignation from the agency, effective Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Adams was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2014 and was confirmed by the United States Senate three months later. His service to NEH followed 14 years as president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

In a brief statement to staff, Adams expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the chairman of NEH and his admiration for the work of the agency. “Leading this important organization has been one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life,” he said. “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.”

Posted: May 22, 2017 Confederate flag to be featured at Louisiana museum opening
Hannibal Courier-Post

A highly anticipated exhibit will help the Louisiana Area Historical Museum kick off its silver anniversary season May 27.

A preserved Confederate battle flag, once owned by a Civil War soldier from Pike County, will go on permanent display along the south wall of the museum’s main room. The “First Flag of the Confederacy” will be featured with a 33-star U.S. flag from the same era.

Museum Board President Judy Schmidt, who took the reins from Martha Sue Smith after Smith’s quarter-century of service, spent three years researching the flag’s history and taking steps to keep it intact for further generations.

“The museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying all artifacts, especially those with a local connection, so that historically significant relics can be studied and enjoyed by our visitors,” she said. “The flag and its accompanying exhibits tell the story of a young man’s four years of service, and how the conflict affected his life and life in Northeast Missouri.”

The Confederacy used the first flag until 1863, when the more commonly recognized St. Andrew’s Cross pattern featuring stars and bars was adopted. In battle, the original sometimes caused confusion because it looked too much like a Union pennon.

Minor brought the cotton flag home with him to Pike County after the war. It was taken off its staff and hung upside down, a sign of distress or surrender.

Minor passed along his own recollections of military service in a Louisiana newspaper article on Aug. 4, 1931, three years before he died.

A grant from the Missouri Humanities Council in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as local donations, paid for the work.

Posted: May 22, 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities chairman announces resignation
The Hill

The chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is resigning effective Tuesday — the same day the Trump administration will roll out a federal budget blueprint expected to make big cuts to domestic programs.

William Adams, who has chaired the NEH since 2014, announced his resignation in a statement on Monday. Deputy Chairwoman Margaret Plympton will take over as acting chairwoman after his departure.


“Leading this important organization has been one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life,” Adams, the former president of Colby College, said. “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.