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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: March 18, 2017 Kill Big Bird at your own peril

The NEA and NEH cuts may have been Trump saying “Snap!” this time — to actress Meryl Streep and the so-called Hollywood elites who are now predictably predicting the demise of Western culture.

Posted: March 17, 2017 Julie Andrews speaks out against Trump’s ‘mind-boggling’ budget plan to eliminate arts funding
New York Daily News

“This is mind-boggling to us, considering how much the arts benefit our lives and our world. They foster collaboration and creativity, essential skills for navigating in the workplace and surviving in a challenging world. They cultivate empathy and tolerance, by bridging cultural and socioeconomic divides. They're also good for business: They spur urban renewal, promote tourism and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity annually,” Andrews and Hamilton wrote.

Posted: March 17, 2017 In the Absence of Federal Arts Funding

Since President Lyndon Johnson and a bipartisan Congress created the national arts and humanities endowments, no president has called for their elimination -- until now. We should pause and think about what our country would be like in their absence.

Posted: March 17, 2017 Celebrities react to Trump's proposed budget cuts for the arts
Fox News

President Donald Trump unveiled proposed budget cuts on Thursday that has garnered celebrity reaction on social media.

The proposal called for the elimination of funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Cooperation for Public Broadcasting, which supports programs, including PBS and NPR.

In turn, the cuts would help provide funds for defense spending.

Several Hollywood personalities immediately took to Twitter where they spoke out against the proposed budget cuts.

Posted: March 17, 2017 How has the National Endowment for the Arts impacted you?
Los Angeles Times

On Twitter, people are already voicing their opposition to the cuts with #SaveNEA. Others are rallying around similar programs like the National Endowment for Humanities, an agency whose funding includes the development of literature and documentaries, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund PBS, NPR and local public media stations across the country. #NEHmatters and an #ILovePBS campaign that began before the budget release are both gaining traction.

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.