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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: April 5, 2017 Budget would hurt rural areas, seniors
The Register-Mail

The dozens of cuts in “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” — the White House proposal to slash social spending to move money to military spending — would profoundly affect rural areas and older Americans.

Programs set to be sacrificed include heating assistance for seniors, the Senior Community Service Employment Program, student aid for work/study, benefits to help wounded vets’ recovery, nutritional help for babies born to low-income moms, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Job Corps, Amtrak, Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, the Congressionally chartered Legal Services Corp. providing free civil legal advice to the poor; Americorps, foreign aid, National Public Radio, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, and almost half of Health and Human Services cuts are in funds for National Institute of Health research.

Finally, what does the proposed budget and its priorities say?  It shows us that funding for people matters less than sending money to defense contractors and those with vested interests in armed conflicts.

Sad.

Posted: April 5, 2017 12 Unions, Including AEA, Appeal to Congress to Save the NEA and Regional Theatre
Playbill

The DPE represents over 4 million professional and technical workers, including actors, choreographers, directors, musicians, performers, instrumentalists, writers, singers, stage managers, and other professionals in the arts, entertainment, and media industry.

“We urge Congress, at a minimum, to maintain current funding levels,” reads the letter, which also rallies against budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “Ending federal support for the NEA, NEH, or CPB would be a radical, unprecedented action that would harm everyday people, particularly individuals who live far from metropolitan cultural centers.”

“Donald Trump wrote The Art of the Deal,—funding the NEA, National Endowment for the Humanities and Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a good deal for our economy. The President says he wants to create jobs—he can start by protecting our nation's investment in middle class arts jobs,” AEA’s executive director Mary McColl told Playbill.

Posted: April 5, 2017 Southwestern Professor Joseph Hower Receives National Endowment for Humanities Stipend for New Book
The Southwestern, Georgetown, TX

Visiting Assistant Professor of History Joseph Hower has been awarded a Summer Stipend by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund work on his new book, A Revolution in Government: Jerry Wurf and the Rise of Public Sector Unions in Postwar America.

“I’m thrilled and honored to accept the award,” Hower said. “For over half a century, the NEH has played a crucial role in supporting and sustaining methodologically rigorous, publicly accessible scholarship on history and culture.”

Hower applauded Southwestern for its generosity in supporting travel for his research over the past two years, while acknowledging that such awards as the NEH research stipend play a crucial role in the support of scholarly writing. This is especially true during the summer, when research and writing goes unfunded at many colleges and universities.

Posted: April 5, 2017 Mellon grant supports open access to humanities texts
The Cornell Chronicle

“This is exciting news for the press and for the university,” said Laura Spitz, Cornell’s vice provost for international affairs. “Open access to humanities scholarship aligns with the mission of a global and engaged Cornell.”

Cornell is one of four presses to receive a second NEH/Mellon grant. The new grant will allow Cornell Open to expand its selection from 20 to 77 titles, providing a much wider range of subject areas. “We've been so pleased to have Cornell Open as a shining example of what the program might help support,” said Perry Collins, senior NEH program officer.

The initial grant brought back 20 classic out-of-print titles from the Cornell University Press archive; in seven months these open access titles have generated 25,000 downloads at 832 institutions in 152 countries.

“These 57 new open access titles celebrate the humanities and our strengths in anthropology, classics, political science, literary criticism and women’s studies,” said Dean Smith, director of Cornell University Press. “We will work with the library and faculty to ensure their use in courses. We remain committed to digitizing and republishing 150 classic out-of-print titles for our 150th anniversary in 2019 onto open access platforms.”

Posted: April 5, 2017 In Trump's Dystopia, Movie Theaters Nationwide Screening "1984"
Common Dreams, Portland, ME

Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island, New York, who came up with the idea along with Adam Birnbaum, director of film programming at the Avon Theatre Film Centre in Connecticut, told Al Jazeera that the Trump administration's "undermining of the concept of facts and the demonization of foreign enemies...really resonate in 1984."

"There's a central line from the book about the freedom to say that two plus two equals four, even when the government is telling you that two plus two equals five," he said.

"No one is suggesting that we're living in Orwell's world," Skolnick said. "But the road to that world is people just becoming disengaged and allowing their government to do whatever it wants."

To that end, he added, the screening day is "designed to get people to be talking and discussing and active in the political conversation that is happening in America right now—and throughout the world, it turns out."

Theaters that charge admission will be donating a portion of the proceeds to local charities and organizations, "or using the proceeds for the purposes of underwriting future educational and community-related programming," according to a statement.

In addition to its war on science and rampant conflicts of interest, the Trump administration has threatened to decimate funding for cultural institutions including the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Posted: April 5, 2017 Art is worth saving
The Star Press

During World War II, some American leaders in the fields of art restoration, architecture and museum management joined the U.S. military to help save millions of paintings, sculptures and buildings from being destroyed by the Nazis. These “Monuments Men” understood that these works were the culmination of centuries of civilization. As Winston Churchill said when asked to cut funding to the arts: “Then what are we fighting for?”

After the war, some of the Monuments Men helped establish the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities because they believed that the arts improve the quality of our lives. They also impact economics. Studies show that places where artists have settled have higher real estate values, more tourism, and increased local economic activity, resulting in a more vibrant community attractive to new residents and businesses.

Our country needs all the arts to enrich the overall quality of our lives. The National Endowment for the Arts should not be cut from our nation’s budget. If the Monuments Men risked their lives (and a few were killed) for mankind’s culture, then we should be able to spend a few dollars for its support and protection.

Posted: April 5, 2017 Arizona Humanities Halted Its Project Grants. Here's Why That Matters
Phoenix New Times

The Arizona Humanities Council announced on Thursday, March 30, that it is suspending its project grants temporarily until further notice.

That’s because most of Arizona Humanities’ funding comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities (or NEH, for short).

The NEH is funded by the federal government, but Congress has yet to approve its 2017 budget. And President Donald Trump is hoping to eliminate the NEH altogether.

Hence, the funding dilemma.

“Unfortunately, we cannot award funds that we have not, and potentially may not, receive,” wrote Brenda Thomson, executive director for Arizona Humanities, in the announcement.

A statewide 501(c)3 nonprofit organization started in 1973, Arizona Humanities is one of 56 NEH affiliates. Its programs promote understanding of the human experience, through partnerships with cultural, educational, and community groups throughout the Arizona.

“Funding from the NEH is crucial to our work,” Thomson says.

And the math backs it up.

Posted: April 4, 2017 Budget cuts harmful to local public broadcasts
Daily Toreador - Texas Tech University,

In a budget plan released by the United States government, four agencies are to have their combined $971 million budgets eliminated by 2018.

These agencies are: the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The cuts to the CPB and NEA will affect a number of public radio broadcasting stations funded all over the U.S., including KTTZ-FM, Texas Tech’s Public Broadcasting station, which has served the South Plains area for more than 30 years.

“If funding for the CPB is cut, or even eliminated, there will be varying levels of stress,” Clinton Barrick, station director of KTTZ-FM, said. “It’s going to create a lot of headaches, and I will have to make a lot of hard choices about programing I’d rather not have to make.”

KTTZ-FM will lose the 12-13 percent of its funding it currently receives from CPB, which is not enough of a deficit to take the station off the air, he said. However, small-market stations will have a much more difficult time.

Posted: April 4, 2017 Trump budget may hurt Scotland County programs
The Laurinburg Exchange

Scotland County Democratic Party Chairman Walter Jackson said Congress should ignore the president budget priorities.  “President Trump is going to hurt our economy by making drastic and unneeded cuts to programs that have proven to be effective in building a smarter and stronger economy,” Jackson said.

Posted: April 4, 2017 The Winners and Losers of Trump’s Proposed Budget
Study Breaks, Denver - Written by Students

To characterize Trumps first couple months as tumultuous would be an understatement for the ages.  The president’s relentless attacks on the media and his provable lies to the press have begun to erode the credibility of his administration. He hasn’t slowed down since his campaign in attacking anyone who critiques or challenges his beliefs. The most frightening fact of it all is that he’s now the leader of the free world; not to mention the fact that the FBI is investigating a sitting president only three months into his term.