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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: April 17, 2017 What could Penn lose under Trump's proposal to cut the National Endowment for the Humanities?
The Daily Pennsylvanian

With so much at stake, professors and administrators have been working to advocate against these potential budget cuts.

Religious Studies professor Steven Weitzman recently co-wrote a faculty petition denouncing Trump’s proposed budget signed by 191 Penn faculty from various departments. He said that the loss in funding would be a “real blow to the humanities at Penn and to the larger community that Penn serves.”

Posted: April 17, 2017 Young men of history
The Sun Chronicle

George Santayana said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

But Mansfield High School senior Ian Kavanaugh and three fellow students are learning that mastering the lessons of the past can sometimes reap rewards. Kavanagh, president of the school's history club, took second place in the Massachusetts History Day competition recently, earning the right to compete in the national finals next month in Maryland.

This is the second time a Mansfield High student has reached the National History Day finals. More than 600,000 students from around the world participated in this year's contest based on the theme "Taking a Stand in History."  All four Mansfield students delivered on that theme through a documentary film, performance and original website describing the impact of historical figures who stood their ground in war and peace.

The national competition will take place June 11-15 at the University of Maryland in College Park.  First-place entries in the junior and senior division's five categories of documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website are given the title, "National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar" and receive a $1,000 award.

Posted: April 17, 2017 When Images Are Necessary
The Topkea Capital Journal

Mulvane Art Museum exhibit about African American life and the civil rights movement is partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and will run until May 21.

Posted: April 17, 2017 Historian presents history of civil war monuments
News and Record, Greensboro, NC

Longtime historian and photographer Douglas Butler took a full house of local Civil War buffs alongside his journey to document all 109 Civil War Monuments in the state of North Carolina.

Butler, who started trekking across the state part-time to photograph, published the photographs that provide stunning details of the standing tributes, in a book titled, “North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History.”

Alongside the pictures are records, stories and historical notes that tell the stories of the 111 Confederate and eight Union pieces scattered across the Tar Heel State.

The program, hosted by the Genealogical Society of Rockingham and Stokes Counties, was put together through funds provided by the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit agency that is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: April 14, 2017 Henry David Thoreau would hate Trump's budget

Henry David Thoreau, the author and transcendental thinker, was briefly jailed in 1846 because he wouldn't pay his taxes — he didn't like the fact that the government was tolerating slavery and waging a war with Mexico — and he later argued (in vain) for the right of refusal: "If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible."

Thoreau would sure hate Trump's budget. I even wonder whether Mulvaney's coal miners will be happy with a budget that ratchets up the State's capacity to commit violence — at the expense of the social programs that they actually need.

Posted: April 14, 2017 Advocates predict rural arts decline if federal funding lost
VT Digger

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., joined Vermont arts and humanities leaders Wednesday to warn about potential cuts to cultural programs across the Green Mountains.

The heads of various organizations – from Burlington City Arts to the Weston Playhouse – said President Donald Trump’s proposed reductions in federal arts funding would have devastating impacts on the state’s cultural offerings.

In 2016, Vermont received more than $4.7 million in arts-related grants from various federal agencies. That includes $1.7 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $1.1 million from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, $983,800 from the National Endowment for the Arts and $853,072 from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: April 14, 2017 Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections receives national recognition
Moultrie Observer

Valdosta State University’s Archives and Special Collections was recently featured on the National Endowment for the Humanities website as part of its “50 States of Preservation” series.  “The National Endowment for the Humanities is an important organization that works with archives, museums, and libraries all over the United States,” said Deborah Davis, director of VSU Archives and Special Collections. “They are one of the largest national funders of humanities programs.

“They chose VSU Archives and Special Collections to represent the state of Georgia. It is a huge honor for our digital preservation program to receive national recognition, and the National Endowment for the Humanities helped us do that.”

The article highlights the university’s journey to secure digital preservation. After a series of freak accidents in 2011, VSU Archives and Special Collections lost more than 80 gigabytes worth of electronic files. They received a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant in 2012 and were able to implement better hardware, more consistent policies and procedures for tracking items, and a comprehensive digital preservation strategy.

Posted: April 14, 2017 Video: Watch: Broadway Stars Join Playbill in Supporting the National Endowment for the Arts

In the wake of the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal, which calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and additional domestic programs, several Broadway stars and luminaries have joined forces with Playbill to express their concern and to say “no” to these cuts.

Raising their voices in the video above are Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (Oslo), Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (The Cherry Orchard), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), Tony nominee Alex Brightman (School of Rock), Ana Villafañe (On Your Feet!), Jelani Remy (The Lion King), Gideon Glick (Significant Other), Carrie St. Louis (Wicked), Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick, Alison Fraser (Falsettos), Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon), Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George), Tyler Hanes (Cats), Amber Gray (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812), Kara Lindsay (Wicked), and composer Drew Gasparini.

Posted: April 14, 2017 We all benefit from entities funded by NEA, NEH
Daily Messenger

Sonnenberg Gardens. Wood Library. The Ontario County Historical Museum.

A list of some of Canandaigua’s central, iconic entities? Yes. And also a list of local entities that rely in part on federal funding through the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to carry out their missions. Their tasks will be considerably more difficult if President Trump’s proposed federal budget is approved as it stands, with its elimination of the NEA and NEH, and subsequently such programs as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

That was the message conveyed in U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s recent appearance at the county Historical Museum on Canandaigua’s North Main Street — which relies on such funding to survive, its executive director says. At that Monday appearance, the senator promised to fight to keep those agencies and their funding in place.

“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. She also noted that NEA and NEH programs account for about 3 million jobs — that’s 3 million employed Americans.

Posted: April 14, 2017 Marco Island Historical Society receives NEH grant
Marco Eagle

When Austin Bell received a phone call from a Washington, D.C., area code on Dec. 6, he thought about ignoring it. He was literally in the middle of installing the Marco Island Historical Museum’s new Pioneer Era exhibit and wasn’t expecting any calls, but something told him to answer.  “I thought it was probably another robo-caller,” Bell, Curator of Collections for the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) said, “but I just had a feeling that it was important.”

Instead of hearing a pre-recorded sales pitch, Bell was politely greeted by the office of United States Representative Curt Clawson, who offered early congratulations to the MIHS for being named the recipient of a preservation assistance grant for smaller Institutions from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEH grant award of $6,000 will go toward “the rehabilitation of archaeological materials from Marco Island, Florida.” The funds will be used to purchase necessary supplies, such as acid-free boxes, archival bags, and artifact labeling materials. Bell, who authored the grant request in May 2016 and is the project director, is basing his approach on methods learned while at the Florida Museum of Natural History, where he participated in a similar (albeit larger-scale) NEH-funded project for several years.