President Trump’s proposed FY 2018 budget would eliminate agencies vital to the strength of our country’s cultural community. If enacted as proposed, the Trump budget would eliminate federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, allocating only a small amount of funding to close these agencies.
The elimination of these non-partisan federal agencies, which advance scholarship, access to the arts, and the sharing of knowledge will be felt in every congressional district, in cities such as Chicago, and even more so in small towns and rural areas across America.
Each, in its own way, contributes directly to the vibrancy of our communities, to civic dialogue, and to the broad dissemination of art and ideas.
The funds distributed by these agencies, though modest within the scope of the federal budget (a mere 2/100 of a percent) are exceptionally meaningful to the health of our cultural institutions. This federal support is multiplied many times over with private funds, as our community theaters, public libraries, universities, museums, and humanities festivals fundraise within their own communities.
Some of these cuts will be visible-the disappearance of beloved organizations and reduced access to public television-but the greatest losses will be intangible, including the loss of:
- the creative and intellectual risk-taking supported by these agencies;
- a child’s opportunity to soar through music, performance, or reading;
- programs helping veterans re-acclimate as they return from deployment; and
- the great unrealized works of art and literature that create the rich tapestry of America.
Please tell Congress how much you value the work of these agencies today. They help to make Chicago a vibrant city and America a place where each of us can explore issues of civic importance and celebrate the social life of ideas.
Below are a few local and national advocacy organizations that can help your share your voice with Congress — click through to send a letter.
American Alliance of Museums (IMLS, NEA, NEH)
National Humanities Alliance (NEH, IMLS)
Arts Alliance Illinois (NEA)
Americans for the Arts (NEA)
Phillip Bahar, Executive Director
Jonathan Elmer, Artistic Director
Alison Cuddy, Associate Artistic Director
About the Chicago Humanities Festival
At Chicago Humanities Festival, we believe that humanity thrives when people gather, connect and open themselves to ideas that go beyond their individual experience. That’s why for more than 28 years, CHF has been curating live events that allow audiences to connect with thinkers–both established and emerging–and see the world differently. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar, Thoma Artistic Director Jonathan Elmer, and Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy, CHF is one of Chicago’s most vibrant civic institutions. Join us and celebrate the social life of ideas. chicagohumanities.org