Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Message from our New Mexico Humanities Council. Call for Action.

FYI: NM Humanities Council is where libraries find Chautauqua performers for public programs.  A very important source for your public libraries!

NMHC Response to President's Proposed  FY19 Budget

1 Apr 2018
On February 12, President Trump released his FY 2019 budget request to Congress, which again calls for eliminating the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), along with other federal cultural agencies. As an ally and affiliate of NEH, we are disappointed that the president has once again targeted NEH and other key federal cultural agencies for elimination.  NEH ensures that Americans all across the country—including residents of New Mexico—have access to vital humanities and cultural programs, which reach veterans, rural families, K-12 students and teachers, and other under-served communities. The NEH is the only federal entity uniquely charged with preserving our nation’s history and cultural heritage, supporting scholarly research and collections, and making humanities resources, including our nation’s founding documents, accessible to current and future generations. NEH also funds the state humanities councils, which extend the reach of the humanities to all 56 states and territories and to nearly every congressional district. By leveraging $4 for every federal dollar they regrant, councils generate millions of dollars for humanities programming that are then invested in local communities across the country.
1965: LBJ signing the legislation creating
National Endowment for the Humanities AND
National Endowment for the Arts 
In New Mexico, NEH support has enabled libraries, museums, tribal organizations, cultural nonprofits, K-12 schools, universities, and colleges, among other entities, to carry out the important work of helping us learn about our past, think about the present, and imagine our future.  When you read a biography about your favorite author, watch a television documentary about a famous artist, or read a digitized version of a historical newspaper to learn more about one of your ancestors, you are likely benefiting from work conducted with NEH’s financial support.
And lest anyone forget, state humanities councils are an integral part of communities, helping residents to understand and appreciate history and local culture, promoting reading and literacy, assisting veterans and their families, supporting individual well-being and contributing to local economies through festivals, events and cultural tourism.  Our current programs—National History Day in New Mexico, federal regrants, the speakers bureau, and Democracy and the Informed Citizen—as well as our past programs, have been made available to New Mexicans thanks to the tremendous support of NEH.  We all benefit when our nation’s cultural agencies remain strong and vibrant.
What Can You Do?
  • Call the Washington DC or local offices of your congressional delegation and tell them how important the humanities programs are to you and your community. Be specific.
  • Attend a congressional town hall or other open meeting and talk about the value of cultural programming for you.
  • Email the member if you are unable to place a call or attend a meeting.
  • Remember that your best justifications are the benefits to your community. Tell your story.
  • Please let the New Mexico Humanities Council know what actions you have taken and what you have learned.
  • Coordinate with NMHC to invite your members and staff to a council program you believe they would enjoy.
  • Visit the National Humanities Alliance website to call or send a message to your members of Congress.
  • Provide NMHC with testimonials, articles and other materials that support council activities and can be incorporated into advocacy efforts.
Thank you for making a difference for the arts and humanities in your community. 
Brandon Johnson, Executive Director

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