Making the case for the humanities on Capitol Hill

March 18, 2024
a collage of PA Humanities staff, board members, and Pennsylvania lawmakers meeting during Humanities on the Hill

We know that you know how important the humanities are to Pennsylvania, and every March we make sure our elected officials know it, too!

Humanities on the Hill is an annual opportunity for humanities councils from across the nation to travel to Washington, D.C., meet with lawmakers and ask for their support for funding the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This month our team of board and staff spoke with a record 16 out of 17 House congressional offices and both Senators, sharing about our latest PA CultureCheck research, the significant humanities funding in their districts and why they should support funding the NEH.

Our voices, along with those across the nation, were heard. The FY 2024 appropriations bill passed both the House and the Senate and was recently signed by President Joe Biden. As we requested, it includes $207 million for both NEH and National Endowment for the Arts and maintains our current $65 million funding for the Federal/State Partnership.

The next challenge is the President’s Budget Request for FY 2025, released on March 11, requesting $200.1 million for the NEH (including $60 million for the Federal/State Partnership) and $210.1 million for NEA. This eliminates funding parity for these two agencies and is an eight percent reduction on the state council line item, which provides funding for PA Humanities. Robust funding is needed to support Pennsylvania, and the President’s budget reduces funding to our state at a time when our cultural sector is still recovering and growing from the challenges of the last four years.

Our advocacy efforts will continue throughout the year as we continue to make the case for the humanities. You can help by getting in touch with your local legislators and urging them to keep humanities funding on the same level as the arts in the state. Your activism can make a difference!

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