The humanities are vital to a thriving democracy and vibrant communities. We urge Congress to provide $225 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities including $70 million for the state and jurisdictional humanities councils in FY 2022. The increase will provide resources to bring communities together during and after the pandemic and support local economies and our cultural talent at a time when its needed most.
According to PHC grantee data, COVID-19 has led to major disruptions across the cultural sector, including widespread layoffs and losses of earned income. Smallest organizations, like our state's libraries, were hit hardest. PHC responded to the crisis through emergency relief programs but could not fully meet Pennsyvlania's need. Unfortuantely, PHC CARES applicants requested $3.1 million, but PHC only had $780,500 to distribute.
Given these unprecedented circumstances, the time to advocate for the vital importance of the humanities in Pennsylvania and the United States is now. PHC has been at the forefront of this effort, meeting one-on-one with legislators during Humanites on the Hill and managing targeted advocacy campaigns throughout the year. Recently, Ulysses Slaughter, PHC's Senior Project Director, joined Nevada Humanities in testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing "The Effects of COVID-19 on Arts and Humanities Organizations" on March 25, 2021. Watch the full video below and read Ulysses' written testimony.
“[The humanities] help us figure out how our differences can be complementary instead of competitive and let us move forward with good ideas based on a collaborative approach.”
-- Ulysses Slaughter, senior project director, Pennsylvania Humanities Council at March 25 Subcommittee Hearing
What can you do to advocate for the humanities?
- 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!