We Need Your Help!
The Trump administration has released its comprehensive budget for the Federal government for FY 2018. The proposal earmarks approximately $42 million for the "orderly closure" of the National Endowment for the Humanities, according to NEH Deputy Chair Margaret Plympton.
To quote Earl Lewis of Bloomberg.com, "Contemplate for a moment these programs' absence ... A world in which we fail to support those who examine what it means to be human through prose, poetry, narrative and analysis."
You can help us prevent this proposed budget, which is subject to Congressional approval, from becoming reality.
As you know, the South Dakota Humanities Council provides literary events which boost local economies and our quality of life, and explore histories and culture.
We Must Experience Cultural Events and Conversations
South Dakotans must have the opportunity to experience cultural events and conversations, which would not be possible without SDHC operations support from NEH. To maximize limited resources in the state, cultural agencies creatively network and collaborate to bring in nationally respected authors, performers, musicians and artists with funding from NEH and the National Endowment for the Arts.
We must continue SDHC programs because:
- They reach rural areas in every corner of the state
- They reach diverse populations, including the poorest in the nation
- They lead to improved student literacy and critical thinking
While our revenue sources include private support from individuals, corporations and foundations and annual funding from endowments, the loss of federal funding from the NEH would hinder us significantly and jeopardize our programming.
NEH received $148 million in FY 2016. This fraction of a percentage of the total federal budget – less than one-tenth of 1 percent of annual federal spending goes to NEH, NEA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, combined – means little to the bottom line of our nation. But it means much more to cultural organizations.
From museums and art galleries to renowned authors, our citizens depend on the NEH and NEA for enlightenment and entertainment.
What Can You Do?
1. Contact Your Congressional Representatives
Call or write our South Dakota delegation and express your support for the NEH and for the South Dakota Humanities Council. Share specific stories with senators Mike Rounds and John Thune and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem about how the humanities enrich your local community. Please also share your thoughts with your friends and family members and ask them to voice their support as well.
Talking points about South Dakota Humanities Council (Coming Soon)
2. Write a Letter to the Editor
Submit a letter to the editor to your local newspaper explaining why the humanities are important to you! Personal stories have the greatest impact on public opinion. Here are some ideas:
Use a personal experience you had with an author or presentation at the South Dakota Festival of Books
Talk about what you learned from one of SDHC's many grant programs that take place around the state
Tell the public about humanities programs you have attended that will be missed if they are eliminated
3. Stay Connected and Join the Conversation
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share our advocacy messages. Our advocacy hashtags on Twitter are #whythehumanities #NEHforSD and #supportNEH.
- Subscribe to our blog, which features our new "Why the Humanities" blog series explaining the importance of humanities programming from the perspective of our constituents, librarians, college professors and more.
- Share our blog entries and your own experiences with the South Dakota Humanities Council on social media.
- Subscribe to our e-newsletter for updated information about advocacy and SDHC programming.
Your donation is a tangible demonstration of support for your humanities council. It also helps us leverage additional private support and shows that you value this work. Please consider a donation today.