By now, I’m sure you have heard from various sources that the White House plans to balance the federal budget by eliminating several agencies, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

As I write, Congress is finalizing a budget for 2017, which includes a significant increase for NEH. However, we do anticipate that the President’s budget proposal for 2018 will include proposals to defund these three agencies, among others.   In addition to its extensive grant-making throughout the country, NEH provides core funding for the fifty-six state humanities councils, including Ohio Humanities.

The state councils play a vital role in communities across the nation, fostering explorations of history, promoting understanding of diverse cultures, and fostering economic development through heritage tourism projects. State councils support programs in more than 5,300 communities. In 2016, more than 4.4 million Ohioans benefited directly from programs supported by Ohio Humanities.

The President will release his 2018 budget sometime in the coming weeks. I want you to know that we are monitoring the federal budget process and may be calling on you to help us demonstrate why NEH, NEA, and CPB are critical to maintaining a democracy where cultural opportunities are available to all. At the same time, please be assured that Ohio Humanities will continue to support your efforts to explore the past, reflect on contemporary issues, and to create vibrant communities.

Pat Williamsen

 

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