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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: April 10, 2017 City Hall rally protests Trump’s proposed cuts to the arts
Times Ledger

New York City is known as the cultural capital of the nation and its elected officials are sending a strong message to the Trump administration that it will stand against proposed federal cuts to the arts and humanities.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and New York leaders, including City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), the chairman of the Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries, called on Congress to reject President Trump’s March 16 budget proposal and save the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“The lives of New York’s children are richer because of critical educational programs funded by these important institutio­ns,” Gillibrand said. “Not only do these programs inspire our children to learn, they also help drive New York’s economy and help create jobs. We should never allow these programs to be eliminated, and I will do everything I can to fight these proposed cuts and restore funding.”

The following morning hundreds gathered on the steps of City Hall to protest the proposed cuts. The rally, organized by Van Bramer and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), was the first of its kind in New York City where Broadway stars, artists, musicians, museum directors, union leaders and arts advocacy organizations all stood united.

Posted: April 10, 2017 A month to celebrate poetry
The Santa Fe New Mexican

April is National Poetry Month. Across the country, the poetic art will be celebrated in readings, forums, workshops and talks by leading American poets.

This year’s National Poetry Month, however, also marks a time of concern over public funding for the arts and humanities, including threats to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. Poetry, despite being a form of magic, still depends on small presses to publish poetry, and those presses often depend on partial support from federal funding.

Dismantling the NEA and NEH would not only cripple poetry publishing, it also could stymie poetry education programs for youth. Beyond that, the catastrophe would cripple theater groups, dance performances and art exhibitions nationally. It’s not statesmanship to propose a federal budget that promises to dumb down America. It’s boorishness.

Posted: April 10, 2017 University of Kentucky to Dedicate Canterberry Papers Documenting West Virginia 'Dustbusters'' Fight Against Massey Energy
University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) will celebrate the environmental protection efforts of West Virginia's “Dustbusters” with the dedication of the Pauline Canterberry Papers. The collection documents the work of Pauline Canterberry and Mary Miller to defend Sylvester, West Virginia, from coal dust pollution caused by a nearby processing facility.

“The Canterberry Papers add to the rich resources found in the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection which was founded in 1977 as part of an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grant to provide support for classroom study in Appalachian studies,” Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs said.

Posted: April 6, 2017 Don't call Trump a populist: 'Trumpism' is just 'Republicanism'
The Hill

Ever since Donald Trump barnstormed across the country, beating out over a dozen other Republicans for the presidential nomination, political pundits and journalists have described his campaign and ultimate win as a “populist insurgency.” There is no doubt his rhetoric often seemed populist. While railing against the establishment, he promised to “drain the swamp” and be the president for “forgotten men and women.”

But he’s no longer a candidate. He’s president, and his policy decisions and proposals are, for the most part, ripped straight out of the Republican Party’s playbook of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation and attacks on government. Trump’s starved budget, along with his first 100 days of governing, represent more of the same old Republican ideology: afflicting the afflicted and aiding the affluent.

Posted: April 6, 2017 Campus Viewpoints: Trump considers cutting the Arts and Humanities Endowment
The Union, El Camino College

“The Union” went out on campus asking students what they thought of Trump’s 2018 budget plan, which proposes cutting the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tatiana Nunez, 19, English major : “I think it’s really illogical and impractical to cut something out that’s so important and vital to just our culture and us as human beings. I mean you need art. You need the arts to thrive, to grow as an individual. It’s not something that’s worth throwing out for a wall.”

Posted: April 6, 2017 President Trump's budget, health care plan would be very bad for Louisiana
The Times-Picayune

Maya Angelou once said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." President Donald Trump's recent actions, including his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his first budget, clearly show us who he is: no friend to Louisiana.

If you're one of the thousands of Louisianians who visited a public art museum for an exhibition, saw a play, or watched a documentary funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) or National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) last year, then you know the importance of the NEA and NEH. Unfortunately, this administration does not. President Trump's budget would eliminate both the NEA and NEH. Considering the importance of art and culture in our state, as shown by the fact that those two programs have provided almost 200 grants in Louisiana since 2012, getting rid of the NEA and NEH will leave a hole that cannot be filled.

Posted: April 6, 2017 In Defense of Books Proposed federal budget would slim down resources for state, rural and tribal libraries
Santa Fe Reporter

During the New Mexican summers of her youth, Valerie Nye rode the morning bus with her sister and mother to the public library in downtown Albuquerque. The family checked out as many books as they could carry and would meet her father at Civic Plaza before taking the bus back home. “It was a full day of adventure that centered on going to the big public library for picture books,” Nye remembers. Now, as the library director at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, she recalls the importance of such adventures whenever she orders picture books, helps children with homework and works with staff. “It is a great job,” she says.

Nye is part of a small New Mexican delegation of librarians and politicians traveling to the nation’s capital next month to oppose President Donald Trump’s proposed budget aimed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This time around, the annual lobbying trip to Washington DC has ignited a sense of emergency among librarians fighting against the potential gutting of federal funding that now supports a host of resources for cities and rural towns across the state.

“Libraries are not romantic, historic, quiet places where people sit and read all day,” writes Nye in an email to SFR. “Libraries provide vital services to communities including internet access and reliable information on health, finance, politics and taxes. Libraries help provide people the tools to search for jobs, apply to jobs, interview for jobs and start their own businesses.”

Posted: April 6, 2017 Rx For What Ails Us: A Doctor's Case Against Cutting Arts Funding
WBUR 90.9

The Trump administration’s plan to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has drawn criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. In the days since the administration released its proposed budget, which would also cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 24 senators from both parties signed a letter asking the president to reconsider eliminating these agencies. The letter cites the power of the arts to forge cultural bonds, stimulate the economy, and enrich our education system. The senators might have included another reason for keeping these programs alive: By influencing the cultural context in which we live, the arts also help to promote health.

Health is not just a matter of medicine and disease. It is fundamentally informed by the social, economic and environmental conditions that surround us; these conditions are, in turn, subject to the influence of economic trends, political policies and the emergence of social movements. They are also influenced by culture, which is deeply influenced by art.

Posted: April 6, 2017 ‘Building the Wall’: Staging America’s Worst Immigration Nightmare
Truthdig

As the 2016 presidential campaign rolled to a close, prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan was disgusted by the diminished standards that had come to define the electoral process.

“I felt that regardless of who got elected, lines had been crossed, and those historical agreements, spoken and unspoken, about our two-party system, had been irretrievably damaged over the course of the election,” Schenkkan told Truthdig. “[There was] a coarsening of public discourse, the elimination of even a modicum of respect. And reasoned debate had been tossed in favor of a carnival-like click-bait.”

Schenkkan’s disgust inspired his new play, “Building the Wall,” which he wrote during seven feverish days in late October. The play currently is running at The Fountain Theatre in Hollywood and will roll out across the country in coming weeks.

Set in 2019, the play takes place entirely in a prison interview room where Gloria, a historian, interviews Rick, an inmate, about the circumstances leading to his arrest. (In the Los Angeles production, Gloria is played by Judith Moreland and Rick by Bo Foxworth.

Pattern may emerge in the number of submissions to the National New Play Network, which means there could be many such shows in the future. Or maybe not, if President Trump’s proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities takes place.

Posted: April 6, 2017 What good are the NEA and NEH, anyway?
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump’s outline for next year’s federal budget includes a call to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

As leaders of Milwaukee’s cultural organizations, we call on our state’s legislators and on Congress to preserve both of these important programs. The NEA and NEH provide essential support at modest cost and are a tiny part of the federal budget. The total NEA budget is $148 million — only 47 cents per American.

Yet the impact of these programs in Wisconsin is significant. Just since 2010, the NEH alone has awarded more than $5 million in grants in our state.

What have those grants done?

They have funded caring for our shared heritage at museums as varied as the Milwaukee Public Museum, Sheboygan County Historic Society and Milwaukee’s Jewish Museum. They’ve enabled digitizing historic Wisconsin newspapers for future researchers by the State Historic Society and supported re-housing archives at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee library. They have made arts and humanities courses possible for students at colleges and universities across Wisconsin — from UWM and Marquette University to Carroll, Beloit College, Ripon, St. Norbert’s, Lawrence and nearly every UW campus.