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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: March 17, 2017 What America without the NEA and NEH would look like, and why that matters
Christian Science Monitor

President Trump has said he wants to build American infrastructure – even as he proposes cutting funding for so-called cultural infrastructure.

Four cultural federal organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), have for years been the target of conservative critics. But now the groups could see their funding gone as Mr. Trump on Thursday submitted his proposed budget to the Senate. 

For arts and cultural groups across the country, the four agencies – although they account for only 0.02 percent of federal spending – have long been considered crucial in supporting outreach to underserved communities between the coasts, particularly in rural areas. Proponents of the proposed cuts have said that the proposed elimination of the agencies will open the door to a freer arts market that forces artists to produce works that speak to local audiences, rather than to bureaucrats in Washington.

Posted: March 17, 2017 Why We Must Save the National Endowment for the Humanities
The Daily Beast

Just as we need to rebuild an infrastructure of roads and bridges, we need to strengthen our infrastructure of ideas. Tyrants have good reason to fear the humanities. We do not. The humanities are America’s stock and trade. They are a national asset that we shortchange at our peril.

Posted: March 17, 2017 Republicans Start Lining Up to Fight for the N.E.A. and N.E.H.
New York Times

“The lord has been good to me late in life, my friend,” Patrick J. Buchanan, the conservative firebrand, said in an interview this week about the president’s assault on the National Endowment for the Arts, which Mr. Buchanan railed against during his insurgent run for president in 1992.

But even with one-party control in Washington, the fates of the arts endowment and the National Endowment for the Humanities are far from sealed.

Several key Republican lawmakers are expressing support for the programs, which, since their near-death experiences during the culture wars of a generation ago, have taken pains to counter accusations of coastal elitism by making sure to distribute their grants widely across all 50 states.

Posted: March 17, 2017 Trump's Budget Could Hurt Wyoming Arts And Humanities
Wyoming Public Radio

President Donald Trump’s first federal budget plan proposes a complete defunding of both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The potential eliminations could hurt many arts organizations across the state.

Shannon Smith is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Humanities Council, a non-profit and the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, or the NEH. The organization supports programs, events, speakers, and exhibits that deal with issues of the human experience. The council depends on the NEH for about 70 percent of its funding. Smith said the endowment was first created to bring equal opportunities for the poor and wealthy to experience arts and culture.

"My counterparts in our wealthier states, they’re not going to lose their state councils, because they’re going to have the capacity with their populations to raise the money," said Smith. "But it’s the rural and smaller states that are going to be devastated by this because there is no way for us to counter the kind of money that comes in through this federal investment in Wyoming."

Posted: March 17, 2017 Reagan called America a ‘city on a hill’ because taxpayers funded the humanities
The Conversation

When Ronald Reagan called the United States a “city on a hill,” in 1974, it encapsulated an expansive, optimistic vision of America.

The phrase comes from a Puritan sermon by John Winthrop called “A Model of Christian Charity.” But no one knew Winthrop’s sermon existed until 1838, when it was discovered in the New-York Historical Society and  printed by the Massachusetts Historical Society. The New-York Historical Society had nearly closed in 1825, but New York Gov. Dewitt Clinton urged the state to save it.

The value of the New-York Historical Society became a matter of public debate, and eventually all but three state legislators agreed to pay its debt and keep its collections intact. With US$10,000 – no small sum in those days – citizens ended up preserving and discovering the sermon that Reagan would later make central to his career. State funding for the New-York Historical Society was one instance among many in early America of funding for the humanities that preceded the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: March 16, 2017 Trump wants to cut the NEA and NEH. This is the worst-case scenario for arts groups
Washington Post

Trumps budget plan, which calls for the elimination of four independent cultural agencies — the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — also would radically reshape the nation’s cultural infrastructure.

For decades, arts and cultural leaders have fought regular battles to maintain federal funding, and they now find themselves part of a larger, unprecedented attempt to dismantle the federal government’s role in American life.

Posted: March 16, 2017 Trump's federal budget would eliminate dozens of agencies and programs

President Trump's proposed budget takes a cleaver to domestic programs, with many agencies taking percentage spending cuts in the double digits.  But for dozens of smaller agencies and programs, the cut is 100%.

Posted: March 16, 2017 Trump Proposes Eliminating the Arts and Humanities Endowments
New York Times

A deep fear came to pass for many artists, museums, and cultural organizations nationwide early Thursday morning when President Trump, in his first federal budget plan, proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We are greatly saddened to learn of this proposal for elimination, as N.E.H. has made significant contributions to the public good,” said William D. Adams, chairman of the humanities endowment, in a statement. Mr. Adams made a point of noting endowment support for preservationist work in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and for theater work by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — a clear overture to Republicans to remember that endowment grants do not only go to liberal elites.

Posted: March 16, 2017 Trump budget would eliminate funding for National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities
Los Angeles Times

The National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities are among the independent agencies earmarked for zero funding in the 2018 budget blueprint released Thursday by the Trump administration.  The NEA and NEH are among 20 agencies the proposal targets for elimination of funding, along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, to name a couple. 

Posted: March 16, 2017 Trump budget slashes federal agencies and the arts to focus on border wall, defense spending
Chicago Tribune

The budget goes after the frequent targets of the party's staunchest conservatives, eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, low-income heating assistance and the AmeriCorps national service program established by former President Bill Clinton.