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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
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.”

Posted: April 11, 2017 Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’
Washington Post

Note:  NEH-funded “Freedom on the Move” project (Cornell University, HD-229031-15). It is an ODH Start-up project to document information about runaway slave advertisements.

 “Stop the Runaway,” Andrew Jackson urged in an ad placed in the Tennessee Gazette in October 1804. The future president gave a detailed description: A “Mulatto Man Slave, about thirty years old, six feet and an inch high, stout made and active, talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot, broad across the root of the toes — will pass for a free man …”

Jackon's ad is one of thousands being catalogued by the history department at Cornell University, which launched “The Freedom on the Move” project to digitize and preserve runaway slave ads and make them more accessible to the public.

“Our goal is to ultimately collect all the runaway ads that have survived,” said Edward E. Baptist, a Cornell history professor who is collaborating on the project with Joshua D. Rothman, at the University of Alabama, and Molly Mitchell, at the University of New Orleans.

Baptist said the ads provide rich insights into history.

Posted: April 11, 2017 Don’t cut humanities funding
Detroit News

Through humanities programming, we all develop an increased awareness of what it takes to achieve our goals and dreams in a competitive global economy.  Through 1,053 events last year supported by the Michigan Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Michiganians got to know their neighbors better and gained a richer understanding of themselves as well.

Posted: April 11, 2017 Preparing artifacts of the 'Great War' for the digital age
ABC News

The Connecticut State Library: The Great War

Since the project began in 2014, about 130 people have come to events, resulting in the digital preservation of more than 600 items and the creation of about 150 profiles of people who took part in the war effort.

Similar preservation efforts are being done at some universities, some branches of the military and local historical societies, but nothing on the scale of Connecticut's project, said Chris Isleib, spokesman for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.

The preservation is funded in part by an $11,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The New Haven Museum will host a major scanning event May 24. There are 16 others scheduled this year across the state.

"We can do high-resolution captures of anything that comes in, 3D objects, flat objects," said Christine Pittsley, the project managers for the state's Remembering World War I: Sharing History/Preserving Memories program. "All of that stuff is going to be online. It's being preserved in the Connecticut digital archive. So, even it that item disappears, there always will be a digital record of it."

Posted: April 11, 2017 Grant Supports Creation of Open Access Humanities Books
University of Arizona News

Concerned that the vast majority of humanities books are not available to the general public, the National Endowment for the Humanities has partnered with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the Humanities Open Book Program. 

This unique program makes grants to academic presses and other institutions that publish books in the humanities for the purpose of digitizing out-of-print books and making them freely available.

The University of Arizona is the recipient of a $73,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, which will support the UA Press' Open Arizona Initiative in digitizing two dozen out-of-print books that highlight the experiences of indigenous and Latino groups and individuals in the Southwest.

The books were chosen to build on the UA Press' long history of publishing books that preserve the region's history and culture, and will include works touching on topics such as the impact of government policy on indigenous communities and the experiences of Mexican-American communities throughout the 20th century. Funding from the grant will not only underwrite high-quality digitization but also support creation of a custom website to make the books easy to find and download.

Posted: April 11, 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Selects SUNY Poly for Prestigious Award
SUNY Polytechnic Institute News

SUNY Polytechnic Institute has been selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to receive nearly $100,000 in funding to re-imagine the spirit and strategy of entrepreneurship in an interdisciplinary way by uniting it with the creative thinking of the humanities, resulting in new opportunities for students, veterans, start-ups, and further enhancing the economic vitality of the community as a whole.

“This highly competitive award is tremendous evidence of our outstanding faculty’s dedication and commitment to finding new solutions to the challenges our region and the world face,” said Dr. Bahgat Sammakia, Interim President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “The funding from this grant recognizes the critical role that interdisciplinary collaboration between the humanities and business plays in our local, regional, and global economy, and SUNY Poly is proud to lead the way.”

This prestigious NEH award of $99,949 over the course of three years is grounded in the growing recognition that the humanities play a key role in cultivating students’ ability to tackle the issues, problems, and challenges facing modern society in creative and innovative ways. Teamed with the skills, knowledge, and experiences of business management, students will become better equipped to take on the challenges of a complex, rapidly-changing, globalized 21st century world. The result will be individuals who can thrive in situations of uncertainty, think creatively to solve problems, envision opportunities for positive change, and possess the confidence to take risks and ventures. Led by SUNY Poly Interim Dean Dr. Robert Edgell and Professor Dr. Daryl Lee, this is the first time SUNY Polytechnic has received a National Endowment for the Humanities award.

Posted: April 10, 2017 Trump's budget could eliminate federal funding for 'superhero' program - AmeriCorps, Senior Corps volunteers anxiousabout funding proposal
Joplin Globe, MO

In a statement from his press secretary, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt noted that the president's budget proposal is only the first step in the appropriations process. Blunt, also a Republican, serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and as the chairman of its Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

"There are many concerns with non-defense discretionary cuts," Blunt said of the president's budget plan, which also cuts funding for the public broadcasting corporation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Chemical Safety Board, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the African Development Foundation and more.

"Over the next several weeks, we’ll be holding hearings with Cabinet secretaries and others involved to determine funding priorities for fiscal year 2018," Blunt said.