President Obama Declares October National Arts and Humanities Month
To observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.
The White House released yesterday a proclamation signed by President Barack Obama declaring October 2016 to be National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM). First established by President Bill Clinton in 1993, NAHM highlights the importance of the arts and humanities for all Americans.
“In seeking to break down barriers and challenge our assumptions, we must continue promoting and prioritizing the arts and humanities, especially for our young people. In many ways, the arts and humanities reflect our national soul. They are central to who we are as Americans -- as dreamers and storytellers, creators and visionaries,” said the president in his proclamation.
The National Endowment for the Humanities joins with President Obama in calling on individuals and organizations across the country “to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.” While essential to a well-rounded education, the arts and humanities should not be limited to the academic world. Through programs like Humanities Access Grants, Humanities in the Public Square, and the National Digital Newspaper Program, NEH hopes to ensure that all Americans have access to the power of the humanities.
“Celebrating the arts and humanities helps build and sustain the nation’s cultural capital,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “This exciting month will allow NEH to continue to fulfill its central mission of making the humanities widely available and accessible in the United States.”
National Arts and Humanities Month is the perfect time to announce a program dedicated to spreading the humanities throughout the United States. Later in October, the Endowment will launch a new program called Creating Humanities Communities, which will seed grassroots humanities infrastructure in parts of the country where the humanities have received less support in the past.
In order to understand ourselves as a nation, we must look at what the humanities have to teach us about our past as well as our present. Our nation and our communities are stronger when we celebrate our influential thinkers, read the works of great American writers, and study our extraordinary history. We also have a responsibility to preserve important documents, images, and recordings so that future generations will have the same opportunities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities invites you to take part in a digital conversation about the importance of the humanities, during NAHM and beyond. Record a 30 second video of yourself and tell us why you think the humanities help us make sense of our world today. Post using the hashtag #humanities2016. To see examples of these videos click here. For further instructions on creating your video click here.