I urge all who care about the place of the humanities in our society to call on their Senators and Representative to reject the President’s budget blueprint that calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities and other vital educational and cultural agencies.
In 1964, the American Council of Learned Societies played a significant role in convincing Congress to establish the NEH. The need for a public commitment to “the study of that which is most human” is no less imperative now than it was a half century ago. The humanities illuminate complex phenomena and enable us to appreciate the diversity of human experience. We need the humanities to understand ourselves as a nation and to engage a challenging and changing world.
Please let your representatives know that the NEH as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the TitleVI/Fulbright-Hays International Education programs of the Department of Education, have played a crucial role in building the knowledge and insight needed today. The funds expended by these agencies are modest but catalytic: they leverage additional support through matching funds raised and institutional cost-sharing of the work supported. These wise investments should not be impulsively discarded. As our Commission on the Humanities declared a half century ago, “a government which gives no support at all to humane values is careless of its own destiny.”
In 1964, the argument for establishing the NEH and NEA was that “democracy demands wisdom.” In 2017, please help us show that democracy can defend wisdom.
The National Humanities Alliance provides resources for contacting your legislators. Click here to contact your member of Congress through the Alliance. If you wish to call directly, you can reach the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and be connected to any Senator or Representative. Calls are particularly effective at demonstrating grass-roots concern.
Thank you for your help,
American Council of Learned Societies
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