Note: What follows is an open letter by Sara Ogger, Executive Director of the New York Council for the Humanities.
Dear Friend of the Humanities,
Congress will be voting on [today] on a proposed $22.5 million cut to the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will directly affect the New York Council for the Humanities, starting with cuts to the current year of funding.
This cut is not minor, or a drop in the bucket. The loss of state funding and the economic downturn have already impacted the availability of our programs in every region of New York State. On the flipside, though, the savings from eliminating the cultural endowments would be tiny—about 1/21,000th of the overall U.S. budget, or the cost of two postage stamps per citizen.
If this seems unnecessarily destructive to you, please say so now! The House will debate these cuts this coming Monday and Tuesday, February 14th-15th.
And while you are telling your story to Congress, please do tell it to Albany as well! The entire Council team will be in the Capitol and Legislative Office Building for Humanities Advocacy Day next week. Loss of this support this year was a 25% blow to our budget. So take an extra minute to ask Albany to restore its funding—also extremely modest in the scheme of things—to the humanities in New York State.
Click on this link ASAP to register your support for the Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Thank you for your help. It will, I hope, yield dividends for our communities.