THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES act as our collective voice.
They record our history, tell our stories, and reflect our experiences of being human. The arts and humanities are an expression of who we are as individuals and as a nation—no matter the color of our skin, our gender identity, our sexual orientation, our religion, our age, our ability, or our politics. They hold up a mirror to our most glorious achievements and our greatest failings. They make us better by challenging and inspiring us.
Funding for the arts and humanities is not a partisan issue.
As a country, we used to value arts and culture. President Kennedy once said, “I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” It is our mission to bring back into the American consciousness an understanding of the value of the arts and humanities by showing how they affect individual lives and communities and how they shape our identity as a country.
Together, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) give grants to individual artists for the production of films, theater and dance performances, literature, and visual arts—but the funding also goes to support museums, libraries, archives, public radio, television, arts education, and community art projects. The scope of these agencies is broad, and the ripples of their influence go far beyond their reach, so protecting them is of vital importance. It isn’t simply about protecting the money that will go to deserving artists and organizations; it’s about safeguarding a place for arts and culture in our country’s future.
We believe that the arts and humanities are essential to the health of our nation. As such, we resist any effort to eliminate, defund, or diminish the NEA or the NEH.