Voice your support for the humanities

Recently, President Trump announced his budget recommendations, which proposed eliminating federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and other cultural agencies. Although Indiana Humanities receives support from individuals, corporations and foundations, we depend on federal funding from the NEH to carry out our work.  

We need your help to voice support for the humanities.

  • We need your help to explain that thanks to federal dollars, humanities programs flow into small-town libraries, tiny cultural centers, and hometown fairs and festivals from Valparaiso to Vevay.
  • We need your help to explain that every Hoosier deserves access to thought-provoking cultural programs.
  • And, most important, we need your help to convey that communities with vibrant humanities programs have a greater quality of life, which leads to economic growth and jobs.  

Are you ready to take action? Here are two things you can do to make a difference right now:  

1. Reach out to your congressional representatives. We encourage you to call and speak directly to the office. Phone calls make the most impact. Click here to find out who they are and how to contact them!

Not sure what to say? Here are a few examples:  

“As you and your colleagues discuss and work on the budget, I want to convey the important role that Indiana Humanities plays in our district. Funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities, Indiana Humanities awards grants, provides resources and creates programs that have enhanced the quality of life in my community.  Cutting the NEH would not significantly trim the federal budget, but it would significantly affect the quality of life in states and communities like ours. Help Indiana and our country thrive by providing us with more resources—not less.”  

Tell a personal story about how Indiana Humanities has impacted an organization in your community—through a grant, an ALL-IN Block Party, a Community Conversation, a Next Indiana film discussion or Novel Conversations, for example.  See how we’ve made an impact in your congressional district with the maps on the right-hand side of this page.

2. Share your story—How has Indiana Humanities impacted your community?

Write a letter to the editor, tell your friends on social media or discuss it over lunch with your colleagues. Make sure you tell us about that impact, too.

Need some inspiration? Read this letter to the editor from our board of directors that has run in newspapers across the state.

Key Messages

Since they were founded 50 years ago, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts have, through involvement at the most grassroots levels, touched nearly every American. They are not a luxury. They are not a partisan issue. They are an essential part of what makes individuals and communities thrive. 

Indiana Humanities receives slightly more than $800,000 from the NEH annually. On average, for every $1 statewide humanities agencies receive, they leverage $5 from other sources. That results in an estimated $4 million impact in Indiana.

In addition, the NEH funds Indiana programs and academic research directly. In the last 10 years, Indiana organizations have received nearly $28 million in direct NEH grants.

What does Indiana Humanities funding support? Local programming in libraries, colleges, small and large museums and other nonprofits; programs supporting civic literacy and engaged citizenship; projects that highlight local history and encourage community collaboration.

All of this serves rural areas, big cities, small towns and suburban neighborhoods.

Because bigger cities have the best opportunities to offset lost humanities funding, the negative impact will hit small towns and rural areas hardest.

What are the humanities? They’re history, literature, poetry, philosophy and ethics, world languages and cultures, religious studies, archaeology and related disciplines. Big picture, they’re activities that help us understand ourselves and each other and, as a result, build stronger communities.

The president’s budget is a suggestion. It’s a long and winding road and Congress will work on the budget over the next few months. That’s why it’s important that constituents voice their support directly to their representatives. Call your members, go to town halls and let people know how NEH funding has supported our community.

The NEH request is $155 million in 2018. The Federation of State Humanities Councils request is for $46 million, which will be distributed throughout all states and territories.

Take Action

In four easy ways you can be an advocate for the humanities!

  1. Find your representative and their contact information
  2. Share your story about our impact in your community with us, then share on social media, with friends, to your legislators 
  3. Read this letter to the editor from our board of directors and write your own
  4. argeted info about how you can help to advocate for the NEH
Testimonials

Our role as a convener: Aspire Johnson County
Our Community Conversations program allowed us to bring together a very diverse group of residents, business leaders, and community activists to learn better ways to grow Johnson County economically and provide a stronger, healthier quality of life for our residents. Without this support, we would not have had the attendance and the education for our attendees to create the work we are doing today. As a direct result of these conversations, we have created trails committee which is creating a trails masterplan, we have brought awareness and support for I-69 to our residents who will be directly affected by the new interstate, and we have created two programs for teaching work ethic to our students and introducing them to a variety of careers in the manufacturing sector. These are all activities that will have long-term effects on our county and community.

 

Our role as a catalyst: Growing Places Indy
Indiana Humanities played a crucial role in supporting the start up of Growing Places Indy, a 501c3 organization in Indianapolis working to empower people to cultivate personal, family and community wellness through urban agriculture, access to fresh local food and mind-body education. Indiana Humanities served as a fiscal agent until Growing Places Indy received 501c3 designation from the IRS, and our first two high school summer apprentices came to us through a partnership with Indiana Humanities. One of those young women returned several years later as the program coordinator for the summer apprenticeship program, bringing her experience full circle. Not only was Indiana Humanities logistical support vital to bringing this organization to life, they helped us build connections with other individuals and organizations that helped us take root and grow. We have not only experienced first hand the irreplaceable value of the humanities in creating a strong, vibrant and engaged city, but we see the benefits Indiana Humanities brings to our community in endless ways.

Our role as a connector: Luis Ruvalcaba
My family relocated to Indiana from Arizona nearly 3 years ago.  Thanks to Indiana Humanities and their efforts to make Indiana culture and hospitality a well-known way of life for all Hoosiers, new and old, my family was able to make Indiana our home.  Through their ALL-IN campaign we explored this great state and began to know it better than the natives. Thanks to the City Suppers concept (in partnership with the Harrison Center for the Arts) our neighborhood has become the envy of my social media followers: alive with the neighborliness and kindness that has come to represent Indiana in our hearts.