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Obama Administration Requests $147.9 Million for National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016

Requested amount is $1.9 million increase over current fiscal year

U.S. Capitol, January 2015

Architect of the the Capitol

WASHINGTON (February 2, 2015) — The Obama Administration today released a budget request of $147,942,000 for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for fiscal year 2016.  NEH, the independent federal agency that will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, awards grants supporting research, education, and public programs in history, philosophy, literature and other areas of the humanities.

This request, which represents a 1.3% increase over NEH’s current appropriation, includes funds for The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, a new initiative designed to demonstrate the critical role humanities scholarship can play in our public life.

The request includes:

  • $104.2 million for NEH’s grant programs in support of projects in the humanities, including $43 million for the operations, projects, and programs of the state and territorial humanities councils;

  • $10.9 million in federal matching funds, including funding for the agency’s Challenge Grants program to help stimulate and match private donations in support of humanities institutions and organizations.

The National Endowment for the Humanities, one of the nation’s leading funders of humanities programs, awards competitive grants through a rigorous peer review process to the nation’s museums, archives, libraries, colleges and universities, public television and radio stations as well as to individual scholars and teachers. To spread the wisdom of the humanities as broadly as possible, NEH and its affiliated state councils support scholarly research, public programs, museum exhibitions, documentary films, programs for teachers, and the preservation of archives and other cultural resources.

“We are tremendously pleased that, as NEH prepares to commemorate its 50th anniversary, President Obama has proposed increasing funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “This budget will allow NEH to continue our mission of supporting and enlarging the nation’s cultural capital and broadening American’s access to humanities resources and knowledge.”

Read the details of the full budget request here.


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or