Let’s make sure Congress knows federal funding for the humanities makes a difference in New Hampshire.
A vote will take place after 2:30 PM today, July 18, on an amendment that would cut over $23 million from both the NEA and the NEH budget. Yesterday, July 17, the U.S. House of Representatives began consideration of spending measures on the House floor, including the Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bill, which contains funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). During debate on the bill, Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) offered an amendment to cut $23,250,000 from each agency. Currently, the bill contains $155 million in Fiscal Year FY 2019 funding for each agency which would be a $2 million increase for both compared with FY 2018.
New Hampshire Humanities is asking all of its constituents to help. Please call your representative now and ask them to oppose the Grothman amendment. Talking points for conversations with your representative:
1. I urge you to oppose the Grothman amendment and support annual funding of at least $155 million each for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the Interior appropriation bill. These programs are critical to cultural organizations' ability to serve their communities as economic and educational assets.
2. NEH supports cultural organizations as keepers of our cultural and historical heritages. These programs teach essential skills-- such as creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication-- that are increasingly being sought by employers. NEH also funds humanities councils in every state and U.S. territory, which sponsor family literacy programs, speakers' bureaus, cultural heritage tourism, exhibitions, and living history programs.
3. Again I urge you to vote "no" on the Grothman amendment and support funding of at least $155 million each for NEH and NEA in order to bolster cultural organizations' vital work in our community.
A strong, vibrant democracy requires informed, engaged citizens. The humanities are not a luxury for any one segment of society; they are fundamental to the social fabric of our nation and our communities. They are the story of human experience, aspiration, struggle, and achievement. They help us understand what it means to be human. The public humanities programs made possible by New Hampshire Humanities foster critical thinking, increase historical and cultural understanding, promote civil discussions of difficult issues, and deepen bonds of affiliation within communities.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Call or write your Congressional delegation
Contact our New Hampshire Congressional delegation and express your support for the NEH and for the state humanities councils. All four of our current delegation have voted in support of the NEH in the past, so please thank them for their support (including Senators Hassan and Shaheen who recently signed this letter of support for the NEH) and share specific stories with them about how the humanities enrich your local community. Please also share this email with your friends and family members and ask them to voice their support as well.
Sample letter to Congressional representatives
Talking points about the NEH
Contact information for your New Hampshire congressional delegation
2. Write a letter to the editor
Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper in your region. Letters to the editor are generally 250 words or under. We encourage you to write in your own words and from your personal perspective. Remember that your best justifications are the benefits to your community. Tell your humanities story!
List of major statewide media contacts
3. Voice your support via social media
Visit our Facebook page and our Twitter page and share our advocacy messages with your audiences.
Post a message on Facebook or Twitter asking your friends, family members, and co-workers to voice their support for the humanities, and include a link to our advocacy page: www.nhhumanities.org/advocacy
Thank you for supporting the humanities across the country and here in New Hampshire through the National Endowment for the Humanities!
Nonprofit Quarterly: Once again, dramatic cuts to arts, humanities, and public media threatened
Washington Post: Trump’s budget eliminates NEA, public TV and other cultural agencies. Again.
Articles related to the 2017 threats to NEH funding:
Washington Post: Trump budget cuts NEA and NEH
National Endowment for the Humanities: Chairman's Statement on Proposed NEH Elimination
Inside Higher Ed: Saving Our National Heritage
New York Times: Killing a Program That Brings History to Life
Washington Post: Cutting an Institution That Helps Fix Divisions
New York Times: How to Block Trump Arts Cuts: Groups Look for GOP Help