In FY2018 President Trump’s budget request called for elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), along with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Institute for Museum and Library Services, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In stark contrast, last September the House of Representatives approved a bill that provides funding for NEH and NEA at a level of $145 million each for FY2018. While $145 million is a $4.8 million decrease from FY 2017 levels for NEH, a line item increase of $2 million for state humanities councils was proposed within NEH's budget. And--in November the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that provides $149.8 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities for FY 2018, which is the same level of funding as FY2017.
This overwhelmingly positive support is a direct result of strategic, consistent communication with members of Congress. Thank you to all who advocated on behalf of NEH and state humanities councils!
For FY2019 President Trump’s budget proposal again requests elimination of NEH and other federal cultural agencies. We strongly believe that Congress will once again support state humanities councils’ work with to strengthen education and civic engagement for residents across the nations—but we cannot rest on our laurels. Continued advocacy in the coming months is crucial.
What Can You Do?
- Call your elected officials in their Washington D.C. or local congressional offices, or both, and tell them how important humanities programs are to you and your community. Your statement doesn't need to be long, and you don't need to present a perfectly crafted argument. Simply describe how a humanities program transformed, inspired, or enlightened you, and be sure to thank the officials for the funding that made that program possible.
- Attend a member of Congress's town hall or other open meeting.
- Email the member if you are unable to place a call or attend a meeting.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers and magazines.
- Create a buzz on social media. Follow your elected officials, and tell them why humanities programming is important. Tag PHC on Facebook and Twitter.
- Provide PHC with stories, testimonials, recent press, and other materials that demonstrate the impact of the humanities in your community.
- Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts. At crucial points in the budget process, we will provide specific steps you can take to advocate for the humanities.
Thank you for your support. Please be sure to let us know what actions you have taken and what you have learned. With your help, we will keep the humanities in action and create positive change in Pennsylvania!