Now is the Time to Act

Mar 17, 2017 by Pauline Saliga

On March 16, 2017, President Trump released a budget blueprint that calls for the elimination of many domestic programs including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS and NPR), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and 15 other agencies. SAH agrees with the statement issued yesterday by the National Humanities Alliance (NHA): “This is an assault on the humanities research, education and programming that are essential to the cultivation of our national heritage and civic culture.”

SAH strongly opposes the proposed elimination of these and other federal agencies which have been crucially important to the work of SAH and its members and have provided enormous benefit to the American public. Since 1986 SAH itself has been awarded more than $2.0 million in competitive NEH grants which served as seed funding for the Buildings of the United States publication series and its online edition, SAH Archipedia. That funding has leveraged more than $3.0 million in additional funding from private foundations, corporations and individuals. If NEH funding is eliminated, SAH stands to lose $80,000 in matching funds from its 2016 NEH grant to create new interpretive content, curricula and nationwide public programs for SAH Archipedia. SAH members have received crucial funding from NEH to do research, organize summer teacher institutes, create films and public programs, curate exhibitions, restore manuscripts and sound recordings, and innovate with digital humanities projects. NEH is one of the most important sources of funding for our profession, and we must fight for it now.

The Presidential budget blueprint is advisory and the budget and appropriations process will take place in the US House and Senate. The Appropriations committees will ultimately draft legislation that sets funding levels for NEA, NEH, IMLS and other programs that are not specifically addressed in the administration’s blueprint. That is why we ask you to take action and voice your support for the arts, humanities, libraries, and education to your legislators now. It is important that the draft appropriations bills in the House and Senate provide funding for these programs. As NHA stated in an advisory yesterday, “Strong draft appropriations levels will put our priorities in a good position to weather this storm.”


Arm yourself with facts about why NEH, NEA, IMLS and other federal agencies that you care about matter.

NEH Impact Reports

NEA Facts & Figures

IMLS National Issues & Priorities

Follow NEA, NEH, IMLS and other agencies on Facebook and Twitter. Share their news, accomplishments and current funding struggles with your social networks.

Follow the National Humanities Alliance on Facebook and Twitter, share their posts with your network of colleagues and friends, and sign up for NHA’s email blasts with updates, alerts and calls to action

Do the same with Americans for the Arts, which advocates for NEA.

Visit, write or call your members of Congress to oppose elimination of the federal agencies you care about. To support NEH, IMLS and international education programs with one click, go to the NHA website.

SAH, along with our colleagues in architecture, preservation, art history and the humanities have issued statements and developed toolkits to help us take informed next steps:

SAH: SAH Core Values Statement

AIA: Where Architects Stand: A Statement of Our Core Values 

NTHP: Action Center

CAA: CAA Arts and Humanities Advocacy Toolkit 

NHA: Arguments for the Value of the Humanities

Because so much is at stake, SAH will continue to ask you to take action on behalf of NEH and the federal agencies that are important to you. It’s tempting to give in to fatigue but we must keep making our voices heard. Thank you in advance for your support of the federal agencies that support history, education, libraries, and so many programs and institutions that are crucial to our profession.

Pauline Saliga
Executive Director, SAH