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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
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.”

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."