Our Advocacy

The Federation of State Humanities Councils advocates on behalf of its members, the state humanities councils, for increased federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the NEH’s Federal/State Partnership Office, which provides grants to the councils. In FY 2016, we requested $155 million for NEH and $46 million for the Federal/State Partnership . This modest increase would enable councils to rebuild programming programming scaled back due to funding cuts and help address the significant unmet demand from constituents for increased programs and council services.

The Federation is committed to coordinating its advocacy with other humanities organizations. This collaborative approach strengthens the voice of the humanities in the halls of Congress, enabling our community to make the strongest case possible for funding the NEH and the councils.

Why is Increased Federal Funding for the State Humanities Councils Important?

Councils enrich communities’ quality of life and create a sense of place by supporting cultural programming, cultural institutions such as museums and libraries, and lifelong learning opportunities.

Every federal dollar councils awarded in grants in FY 2013 leveraged $5 at the local and state levels. This federal investment is critical to councils’ ability to leverage additional funds from corporations, foundations, individuals, and state government.

Councils support innovative programs that help veterans reintegrate into their communities.

Councils promote knowledge and appreciation of local, regional, and national history and heritage by supporting discussion forums, exhibits, documentary films, online encyclopedias, and oral history projects.

Councils foster early childhood education through family literacy programs that support children’s future educational and economic success, strengthen family ties, and increase parents’ job prospects by improving their reading skills.

State humanities councils reach nearly every congressional district and more than 6,000 communities annually.

Councils stretch federal dollars through diligent fiscal management, strategic collaborations, and leveraging of resources at the local level.

Councils partner with more than 10,000 local organizations each year and serve hundreds of thousands of citizens, many of whom would not otherwise have access to live public programs.

Councils serve diverse populations, including students, teachers, veterans, seniors, young children, at-risk youth, Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, low-income families, and new citizens.

Each year, the 56 state humanities councils deliver high-quality grassroots programming to more than 6,000 rural and urban communities throughout the nation.

Councils promote K-12 education by providing online resources for students and summer institutes, weekend workshops, and other professional development programs for teachers.

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Legislative Updates & Advocacy News


Continuing Resolution Approved

October 3, 2015

Congress approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) this week and in doing so avoided a government shutdown, but in reality, they didn’t so much avoid a shutdown as postpone the possibility until a later date.

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Humanities on the Hill

A National Advocacy Event in the Nation's Capital

Every March, councils come together in Washington, DC to advocate for humanities funding and talk with their congressional members about the important work of the councils. This three-day event features a briefing, a congressional reception, and a members-only meeting to report on visits to congressional offices.

Learn More About This Important Event