Earlier this year President Trump released an FY2018 budget request that 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, on September 14 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.
This good news is a direct result of strategic, consistent communication with members of Congress. Thank you to all who have already advocated on behalf of NEH and state humanities councils!
Of course—there's still a long path ahead with the budget process. The bill approved July 18 will advance to the House floor for a vote, and the Senate's budget proposal is expected after Labor Day. Continued advocacy in the coming weeks 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. In the coming months, as the FY18 budget takes shape, we will share solid details with you. At crucial points in the 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!