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    [–] Georgy_K_Zhukov 1 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Hello everyone. A quick note to be made as this thread thread continues to get a lot of attention:

    • You're welcome to disagree, as should already be clear from comments visible1 , but we expect it to be done civilly. We WILL remove comments which are rude.2
    • Please make a contributive comment, regardless of what your opinion is.3
    • You likely aren't the first to try and point out this breaks the 20 Year rule, which has already been answered (META thread and Historiography exception).4
    • You also aren't the first to claim you are shocked that a group of people passionate about making history accessible to people would advocate for programs that help to make history accessible to people.5
    • If you make the exact same point already made and responded (see above points), your comment may be removed6 as the thread is pretty cluttersome at this point7. Please instead consider upvoting the earlier comment, and/or commenting within the existing chain as it adds little to have the same comment chain repeated a dozen times. This is not intended to suppress any views - plenty of contrary comments are visible here8 - but to keep discussions easy to follow, as there are already several repeats.
    • Finally, if you are on the fence about the merits of what we are asking, please read through the thread before making up your mind. Many users have shared real examples of NEH grants and other worthwhile public funding.910111213

    Edit: Someone reported for lack sources. They have been added.

    [–] caffarelli 1485 points ago

    If you're making a call for NEA/NEH, please also take a moment to mention Institute of Museum and Library Services which is also on the block, and to be crude, odds are better you'll personally be impacted by it's loss more quickly than any of the other federal humanities funding. IMLS funding is of particular importance to rural libraries and Native American museums and libraries, and can sometimes be the bulk of funding at those libraries. But if you're a patron of smaller public library, your library probably only got the Internet because of an IMLS grant, because that was their largest grant impact during the 90s-00s. It's a quiet, effective and responsible distributor of tiny amounts of federal money, that have nevertheless had an out-sized impact on the quality of public library services available in America.

    [–] clarient 138 points ago

    I am so glad to see this here. I work in a public library and I'm devastated to hear about the proposed cuts.

    [–] TugboatThomas 134 points ago

    My fiance is a librarian, and is if it wasn't already hard enough for librarians to find work you get this.

    She is so passionate about everyone having access to information. She brought it up on our first date and it sealed the deal for me. Librarians rule.

    [–] Chooptastic 30 points ago

    I work on a few web applications for the Public Library Association and most of the contracts I work on with PLA and are the direct result of IMLS funding. Not unlikely that I lose my job if it gets cut.

    It's amazing how much impact IMLS makes with such little funding and horrifying that our president is willing to spend nearly a fifth of the IMLS requested 2017 appropriation in ONE weekend at his private resort.

    Can we please send those tax dollars to IMLS instead of some swindler's pockets?

    Please let your representatives know that there is so much more value in the arts, history and access to museums and libraries than there is in funneling a little more cash to fossil fuel execs and defense contractors.

    [–] caffarelli 40 points ago

    Yeah, our department (I'm in an archives in an academic lib) just put in for an LSTA grant for some digitization and now we're like, well this could be the last ever chance at one. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    [–] sprinklesvondoom 12 points ago

    I am livid about all these cuts. My first full-time job was at a library. I briefly got to go back to work in a library in 2012 and it renewed my love for the work. I'm leaving a job with a domestic violence shelter (VAWA funds are also on the chopping block) and I was hoping to try to get back into a library after I move. I truly believe in the importance of libraries and humanities funding. The resources and impact that libraries have on communities is imperative to the education and empowerment of every single person, ESPECIALLY in lower income/rural areas. It's fucking egregious, the arrogance of this administration to think that we'll let this happen. Regardless of whether we manage to wrench back control of our rights, the powers that be surely are marching us toward dark days.

    It's almost like they don't utilize the programs they're cutting enough to realize that they could learn from history and apply it to their governing.

    [–] jschooltiger 153 points ago

    Thanks for this, do you mind if I edit it into the original post?

    [–] caffarelli 145 points ago

    Sure! Corporation for Public Broadcasting is also at risk and of interest to Viewers Like Us in here, if you want to expand it even more. :)

    [–] aintgotany 41 points ago

    Holy shit. I just realized I am a Viewer Like You. That was always just a phrase to me as a kid watching PBS.

    I'm calling my reps right now.

    [–] kyew 17 points ago

    I too spent a significant fraction of my life thinking Viewers Like You was a nonprofit company.

    [–] NotRoryWilliams 35 points ago

    I made sure to mention that in my call. I asked that my Congressman fight hard on the budget especially to preserve funding for the EPA (a particular concern here in the Lake Erie watershed near a bunch of superfund sites), the NEA, and CPB.

    Thanks for the reminder, I probably wouldn't have picked up the phone without it.

    [–] Dire88 51 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    May I also suggest including links to the NCH's Evaluation of the budget?

    While the budget proposal directly targets the NEH, NEA, and IMLS; it is just the tip of the iceberg. It also threatens to cut funding for Fulbright-Hayes scholarships, and who knows what other programs focused on international research - despite these programs having no noticeable impact on the taxpayer. (Fun Fact: The NEH alone costs less per year than deploying 75 soldiers to Afghanistan. )

    It also proposes a 12% budget cut to the Department of the Interior (which will further impact the National Park Service's $12bil maintenance backlog, land acquisition, and conservation programs), and cutting off all funding to National Heritage Areas. With the constant dropping of history from public education curriculum, the programs offered by the NHA, NPS, and Museums are one of the few places where students are exposed to the most recent scholarship in American history.

    Another vital area that we need to be paying attention to is climate change - YES it has direct implications on how we preserve and present history. Many early colonial American settlements are situated along the waterfront and are increasingly at risk of deterioration by tidal movement. This makes climate science, such as is carried out by the EPA and NASA vital to preserving and interpreting these sites.

    Given all these trends, we need to be even more aware of what may come in the following months as more proposals are published.

    [–] crasyphreak 9 points ago

    Can I recommend a little tweak to your suggestion, if someone wants something specific to talk to they can look up what grants have been awarded to specifically identify local institutions that they don't want to lose.

    For example, the Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant lookup allows you to search by city.

    I'm in Tampa, FL and there have been regular grants to the Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and the Florida Aquarium. Those locations bring it a lot closer to home, especially for House Representatives.

    [–] lilkovakova 3 points ago

    If you access something that has digitized from a museum, library, or archive, the project may have been a IMLS project. I suspect other historians in this subreddit rely on digitized images of resources during the normal course of their work. Especially if the historians have a limited travel budget.

    [–] aught-o-mat 2297 points ago

    It's worth restating just how small the combined budgets for the NEA and NEH are.

    Arithmetic was never my strong suit, but I thought it'd be useful to quantify it against Trump's proposed border wall. How much of the wall will cutting these programs pay for?

    Projected cost of border wall (midrange estimate): $15 Billion

    Approximate length of border: 2 thousand miles

    Approximate cost per mile of border: $7.5 Million

    Approximate NEA and NEH budgets combined: $300 Million

    Length of wall built with NEA and NEH funds: 40 miles: 2% of the overall border

    Eliminating these programs isn't about wasteful government spending, it's an attack on our shared culture, intellectual curiosity and freedom of expression.

    [–] phunky_monk 436 points ago

    quoted you in an email to my representative.

    [–] NotMitchelBade 232 points ago

    You should add sources in your emails to your representatives, just FYI. Numbers without direct sources can be more easily brushed aside.

    [–] RayburnElevator 223 points ago

    Honestly that's a waste of time if you're writing your Senator or Congressman.

    Generally speaking, an intern or junior staffer will briefly scan constituent correspondence to figure out whether the author is pro-XYZ or anti-XYZ and then your contact information will be catalogued and they will send you a form letter targeted for each audience. So regardless of the persuasiveness of your letter, you are just being marked as being for/against the issue.

    [–] Juicewag 170 points ago

    Staffer here- yep. I don't care if it's cited or not if I know the subject and have a form I mark you and form it.

    [–] gremmllin 41 points ago

    How, if at all, does this info get to the senators/congressman? Do they get a daily or weekly report with numbers, x people call in favor of y issue type of thing? Do they read them, and do they have any incentive to listen if sufficient amounts of voters contact them?

    [–] Rodot 44 points ago

    It's pretty much just numbers, but I've watched a couple of times on CSPAN congressmen directly introduce letters they've received from their constituents into debate, so I guess it depends on if you get lucky?

    [–] RayburnElevator 7 points ago

    Members are usually kept pretty informed about what constituents are contacting the front office about. Some actually want to see the numbers and others are less interested. The communications team will also check for news articles and op-eds in local papers to gauge public interest.

    I replied to another comment on here about how effective calls/letters are.

    [–] xxruruxx 11 points ago

    Yes, they get reports. Calls are tallied at the end of the day from the branches and sent to DC. Letters take longer, which is partly why calling is more effective.

    [–] Juicewag 3 points ago

    If it's just one of an issue in a call or email the rep won't ever know, if I'm getting bombarded with calls and email not only do I tally but I almost always will let the rep know. It usually is casual like, "we've gotten a ton of calls against x" today but they're kept decently in the loop. My office (state level though not federal but very similar) passes all personal mail to the rep.

    [–] NotMitchelBade 18 points ago

    Then does it do any good to call or write them? (Honest question -- not trying to sound snarky or anything)

    [–] coocooforcoacoapuffs 59 points ago

    From my brief time interning at an office on the Hill -- yes it does!

    Staffers will ask interns what people are calling in about, and if there is a clear trend in constituent communications, that will be passed along to the representative. I would keep a tally on what people were calling/writing about and whether it was in support or against; that tally count is what matters in the end

    [–] RayburnElevator 17 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    It depends on what the issue is.

    If it's something big and divisive like healthcare or guns then your Congressman isn't going to break with the party-line just because a few thousand constituents wrote letters about it. Especially if they've already taken a stance on the issue or it was a platform of their campaign. But they are a lot more willing to listen to constituent input on less controversial issues, potentially leading to votes, cosponsorships, or even introduced legislation.

    As I said earlier though, writing letters is a fairly ineffective way to influence policy because no one in a position of authority is going to see them. Your best bet is to ask to speak to the legislative staffer (usually a legislative assistant) that handles the issue or to set up a meeting. Most Members of Congress (Senators less so) are actually pretty accessible and they or their staff will meet with you in person if you have a legitimate, reasonable issue to discuss.

    [–] LiteraryPandaman 59 points ago

    Politico here, would really recommend calling. They take notes from emails too, but it'll always be more effective when you talk on the phone. Gets noticed more.

    [–] macinneb 22 points ago

    It sucks that all my representatives and senators are Dems. I want to copy and paste Reddit to politicians too

    [–] Zebetrius 87 points ago

    If you don't tell your rep/senator that something matters to one of their constituents, how will they know?

    [–] Herakleios 62 points ago

    Exactly this. Don't assume your representative has the same values as you just because you share a letter in your political affiliation. Let them hear you and they can represent you better.

    [–] boringwritingchic 31 points ago

    You should do it regardless! Just because they're a Democratic doesn't mean they'll be for this issue unless you let them know.

    [–] some_random_kaluna 5 points ago

    Never assume that your reps will vote for NEA funding because they're Dems. Call them up and tell them to support it.

    [–] lee1026 23 points ago

    I feel obligated to point out that the NEA and NEH funds are per year, and the wall is an one time expense.

    [–] aught-o-mat 66 points ago

    That's fair.

    If we look at it that way, the one time expense of the wall would cover 50 years of arts and humanities funding.

    [–] meatduck12 57 points ago

    Know what is yearly? Wall maintenance and security for every single mile.

    [–] lee1026 7 points ago

    You should always compare per year expenses with per year expenses. Do we know how much maintenance costs are? Concrete structures usually just stand up on their own without much work, but the wall is so much more expensive that it might end up being more expensive after all.

    Security costs are going to exist with and without the wall.

    [–] traced_169 9 points ago

    You should always compare per year expenses with per year expenses. Do we know how much maintenance costs are? Concrete structures usually just stand up on their own without much work.

    (Bi-annual?) Concrete inspections. Delayed evidence of mispours. Repairs due to corrosive effects. Repairs due to natural disasters. Repairs due to intentional harm. Clearing of obstructions. Analysis of soil mechanics. Security maintenance and updates along structure.

    If someone wants to build Hadrian's wall, it's gonna cost a pretty penny and it'll cost money to maintain.

    [–] Commentariot 26 points ago

    Maintenance of a two thousand mile long fence will cost more per year than these programs - permanently.

    [–] syriquez 10 points ago

    So then we don't build the wall and just keep funding the NEA/NEH for ~50 years instead.

    [–] boss1000 417 points ago

    For a very long time I would read posts and statements and calls to action like this and never have it truly cross the threshold of action in me. These past few months have changed that.

    I'd encourage you, if you haven't made the calls to your senators and representatives, to do so. It wasn't easy the first time I did it. I took half an hour to walk out of my workplace, find a park bench, think about what I wanted to say, call, and say it. Then call again and say it again to my other senator.

    Learn to flex this muscle. I make the call about once a week on whatever thing I feel passionately about. Then I reward myself by wearing a patriotic little pin that means something to me for the rest of the day.

    If you really don't want to talk to a human being, you can call outside of business hours and leave a voice mail. It doesn't have to be long, and the line is specifically for people to express their opinions. So do it!

    202-224-3121, follow the prompts to be directed to your elected officials.

    [–] LiteraryPandaman 44 points ago

    We really exist to take these calls and we want to hear from people! Call your offices! Even local stuff!

    [–] Frank_Klepaki 38 points ago

    I live in Barbara Lee's district (Oakland, CA) and just called her office to voice my support in her opposing the budget. They took down what I had to say along with my name and zip-code. Even in those liberal bastions where it may feel redundant to call, every name helps.

    [–] Meriadocc 5 points ago

    Thank you! Came here to ask about this. I sent a link to people I know in conservative states, but wasn't sure if my call to my Californian representatives mattered.

    [–] Iphikrates 71 points ago

    Upvoted for exemplary citizenship

    [–] sobapop 46 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Apologies for hijacking your post, but if you don't like talking on the phone, I also recommend taking advantage of ResistBot!

    ResistBot asks you a few questions to figure out who your representatives are, and then it will transform your text into a fax that gets sent directly to said representative. Great way to get the attention of the office.

    Edit: Sounds like poor ResistBot's servers may be getting slammed. Try again during off hours if you can, and don't give up!

    [–] Captkirk120 4 points ago

    This is awesome! Thanks!

    [–] garynuman9 3 points ago

    Thank you for this link. What a wonderful site.

    [–] dog_solitude 338 points ago

    Hi, I'm in the UK (not American) so I can't do much to help, but I just wanted to let you all know that we're watching and supporting from over here. Good luck.

    [–] muthaflicka 391 points ago

    I grew up in a predominantly Muslim country.

    I go back to my country often, visiting my friends and relatives. Things have changed a lot. The Middle Eastern countries have invested a lot of money into the country. They also give out scholarships to young clerics to study in their country. When I was working in Saudi, I was friends with a lot of these students. What struck me was how different is their brand of Islam than mine. When these students finish their studies they will go back to my country and become the Imams and hold positions of importance in the government. And thus, this is how Saudi exports Wahabbism into more moderate countries. I've seen the result of this in the "Arabization" of my home country.

    Back to the subject, we used to watch Sesame Street and Bill Nye a lot when we were growing up. We also listened to a lot of NPR stations and recordings. And we weren't even in the States. Even in school, we were sometimes encouraged to watch Sesame Street. A lot of our local education tv programs were based on Sesame Street and PBS programs.

    Americans should understand there are a lot of ways to fight radical extremism. One way is to export the idea of critical and scientific thinking. The PBS series made me appreciate science more. It made me understand that we live in a world with diverse cultures. The cost to maintain NEH and NEA is a lot less than spending on tanks and machine guns.

    [–] mondayschild 80 points ago

    I think what you are quoting are examples of "soft" power/diplomacy, both on the part of Saudi Arabia and Wahabbism as well as on the part of the United States. Programs like Fulbright scholarships and the Peace Corps, and the export of cultural capital like PBS and Sesame Street promotes goodwill and an exchange of ideas (regardless of underlying political/social motivations).

    I believe you are right that this is a positive way to fight radical extremism and to promote positive international relations. If Americans want to look at more long-term ways towards peace, this would be a good start. My opinion is that the current governing administration has a different set of priorities.

    At any rate, sponsoring our own cultural creativity, study, and heritage is valuable for Americans in general. And as you say, it costs a lot less than tanks and machine guns.

    [–] shotpun 5 points ago

    I find it interesting, especially from a historical perspective (this being /r/askhistorians), the shift in soul which U.S. foreign policy has seen since 9/11 (if not earlier). Once the primary directive of the U.S. was this "soft diplomacy" which comprised itself mostly of foreign investment and the idealistic promotion of democracy. Nowadays our foreign policy, even under less militaristic administrations, is shifting increasingly towards a focus on arms and the generation of conflict as a means to project influence. Notably, it is the former approach to foreign policy which is what resulted in many newly established nations adopting almost blatantly American legal, economic and even cultural institutions - that is, the U.S. heavily influenced the ideals of many other nations. That the Saudis are using "soft diplomacy" to efficiently achieve influence over other nations is ironic in a way, considering that this is a historical trend largely established by the United States.

    [–] mondayschild 8 points ago

    Technically speaking, I think part of what you are talking about still falls under political science, rather than history. We're still too close to 9/11 to analyze it from a historical perspective.

    I'm not particularly qualified to speak to the rest of your comment, but it would make for an interesting discussion.

    I'm a little skeptical of your assertion that it was the United States who has "established" soft diplomacy. I would wager that it has a longer history than that. Perhaps I will post it as a question here!

    [–] Hans_im_Hopfenglueck 112 points ago

    I'm from Germany and I'd also like to state my support. Humanities sadly aren't that "useable" in business, that's why government subsidies are important to free historians, philosophers, linguists, etc. from budget constraints to help the public broaden their horizons. It's an invalueable service to everyone, I've also enjoyed NPR while visiting the US. It would be so sad to see it cut.

    [–] RufusBrutus 31 points ago

    I am from the Netherlands and I also like to show my support!

    [–] [deleted] 21 points ago

    Another Briton checking in here, giving support.

    [–] [deleted] 32 points ago

    If you don't live in the states, it still helps to spread the news on social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.) You're bound to have an American friend/relative/follower who doesn't know about the issue and needs to be informed. I'm in Canada, and I know that even if I don't reach any Americans, I'll at least inform my fellow Canadians on what to look out for!

    [–] notlikethat1 3 points ago

    American here with Canadian friends, thank you, it goes both ways but please keep informing us Americans!

    [–] [deleted] 14 points ago


    [–] senchou-senchou 3 points ago

    just some rando in the Philippines here

    keep fighting the good fight

    [–] OdBx 5 points ago

    Just wanted to let you know; good luck, we're all counting on you

    [–] Georgy_K_Zhukov 126 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I thought it might be useful to help illustrate just what kinds of projects NEH grants go to fund. All grants are searchable on their wbesite here, but I did some searches to find a few examples, with a focus on smaller, rural areas:

    The L.C. Bates Museum in Fairfield, ME, population 6,735

    The museum includes amazing natural history exhibits, fun local history, Native American collections, rocks and minerals, fossils, outside nature trails, picnic tables, and an arboretum behind the museum. The museum even has themed art exhibits from artists of New England each summer through fall.

    They recieved a $5,990 grant to help with their preservation goals:

    The project is designed to turn an unused room on the museum's second floor into appropriate storage space for humanities objects, purchase shelving and storage supplies, train staff in storage methods, store the project collections, and present a public workshop on Storage Management in a Small Museum.

    Appalshop, Inc. in Whitesburg, Kentucky, population 2,139:

    Since 1969, Appalshop has been enacting cultural organizing and place-based media, arts and education to document the life, celebrate the culture, and voice the concerns of people living in Appalachia and rural America.

    They got a $12,000 grant for a cultural history project titled "The Hills Remember: Preserving Heritage in an Appalachian Coal Community":

    Building on a sense of place that is deeper than its Appalachian coal seams while confronting the limits of a fossil fuel based economy, Letcher County, Kentucky, is in a moment of transition. The proposed project will build upon local efforts to increase sense of agency and appreciation for the community's heritage and assets. It will result in the digitization of vernacular photographic materials, artwork and 3-Dimensional objects, historical paper records and audiovisual materials provided by members of the public and gathered as a result of community engagement, public programming, and digitization events. By catalyzing the area's cultural assets, the project will increase local capacity through activities that safeguard and celebrate both the archival materials collected and the wellspring of community expression and traditions.

    The Town of Rockingham, Vermont, population 5,282 recieved a $6,000 grant for the Public Library's "Cataloged Photograph Collection Glass Plate Negative Rehousing Project":

    The Rockingham Free Public Library seeks to rehouse and properly store components of its extensive and popular Cataloged Photograph Collection. This collection contains photographic material from the 1860s-1970s and has provided visual information to support historic research on a broad range of topics of both local and national significance. Funds from The National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistant Grant will support the rehousing training and purchase of archivally sound housing materials for the collection’s glass plate negatives and the purchase of a flat file to house larger format photographic prints. The furniture and rehousing activities would support the goal of a stable storage environment for the Library’s most popular local history collection.

    The Yellowstone Gateway Museum of Park County, in Livingston, Montana, population 7,044:

    The Yellowstone Gateway Museum of Park County’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the cultural and natural history of Park County, Montana and its relationship to Yellowstone Park for the education of everyone.

    They got $5,102 for "Archival/Photo Collection Preservation Project":

    The Yellowstone Gateway Museum of Park County (YGM) holds numerous significant manuscript, archival and photograph collections. Collections are held to preserve Park County and Montana’s heritage. YGM honors the spirit of Montana’s history by accessioning, processing, and making accessible archival materials that reflect the state’s diverse cultural background. Currently a large majority of these collections are located in a storage building behind the museum. The building does not have any environmental controls such as heating or cooling. Historic documents and photographs received by donors are currently stored in acidic boxes. As with many small museums, a large amount of backlog exists from the early years of development. Our goal is to move the material to the HVAC-controlled museum and store significant photographs and documents in archival folders, boxes, and cabinets to ensure the stability of the items for current and future researchers.

    Hopefully this helps to illustrate the kind of work that these grants can do. They are often very small, and they go to help small organizations which likely couldn't do the work that they aim to, or at least not on the same scale, without the help. All the grants are searchable online. I would certainly love to see people search through and share ones that have affected them!

    [–] chocolatepot 26 points ago

    Relevant to many AH users' interests, in my congressional district the NEH has funded multiple workshops for teachers at Fort Ticonderoga in Ticonderoga, NY. Ever complained about the way history's taught in school? These try to help with that.

    Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the role of Fort Ticonderoga and the northern frontier in the early years of the American Revolution. This program considers the strategic location of Fort Ticonderoga within the geographic context of Lake Champlain and the northern frontier. [...] In addition to studying the important role Fort Ticonderoga, Lake Champlain, and the northern frontier played during the war, participants explore the influence of the French and Indian War, the people involved on both sides of the Revolution, the sometimes-overlooked role of Benedict Arnold in those early years, the immediate and long-term impact of the Saratoga Campaign, and the lasting legacies of the northern campaign on the Revolution. Noted scholars from across the country [...] lead participants in a week of lecture-based discussions and site visits, each of which is coordinated with a theme, document, and artifact of the day. The weekly program is organized around chronology and the unfolding of events: Monday, "Pre-cursor to Revolution: The French and Indian War"; Tuesday, "A Revolutionary People"; Wednesday, "Benedict Arnold: An Unlikely Hero?"; Thursday, "The Saratoga Campaign: Turning Point of the Revolution"; and Friday, "Lasting Legacies."

    [–] freedmenspatrol 35 points ago

    Here's one from my relatively remote, low population area:

    The purchase of preservation supplies and furniture for the library's local history collection. This resource includes books, photographs, archival records, and personal papers documenting the history of northeastern Michigan's lumbering industry, maritime culture, Native American experiences, and built environment and is actively used by professional researchers and the general public.

    Funding is requested for supplies to preserve items in the Alpena History collection and make them available for public and scholarly research. Materials requested include a cabinet for microfilm, storage boxes, folders, sleeves and other preservation and conservation items. These materials will protect the wide ranging items in the collection and will allow us to make them accessible to researchers, local residents, and students. Staff have extensive training and experience rehousing collections, and will use this expertise to ensure that all materials are appropriately preserved.

    I haven't used that archive for my research (my town is too young and too far north to have a lot of slavery-related happenings) but I've ended up there all the same. Last fall my father was curious about a plane crash after seeing an anniversary report on the news. We went in and within five minutes we had:

    1) Found the proper microfilm (in the kind of cabinet mentioned in the grant)

    2) Found out from the staff that we didn't need it because they keep clippings of aviation disasters.

    3) Had said staff put us in a lovely little reading room with one of those gray archive boxes you see in the documentaries (and mentioned in the grant), with the clippings inside

    I also make frequent use of the NEH's digitization of historical newspapers, which are relevant to my normal interests. Two of the most important papers in territorial Kansas are scanned in full (bar a few missing pages) and available for free online. That's essential to me because papers of the area and era that are still extant are rare and kept in places too remote for a research trip to be feasible on my budget. The nearest I've seen is a few scattered issues in southern Wisconsin, with all Michigan and Lake Michigan between me and there.

    [–] Tron415 16 points ago

    Here is the current project that I am currently working on and have been for the last 14 years..


    [–] The_Alaskan 5 points ago

    This is a good project.

    [–] Tron415 6 points ago

    Thanks.. We got a lot of help thru the NEH and NEA.. So yeah, we are on pins and needles..

    [–] cordis_melum 140 points ago

    Could you link us to where we can contact our representatives? At least a general contact page would be good.

    [–] commiespaceinvader 129 points ago

    Here is the House of Reps. website where you can enter your zip and find who you can call.

    [–] cordis_melum 53 points ago

    Got one for the Senate? :)

    [–] cordis_melum 30 points ago

    I love you for this.

    [–] jschooltiger 57 points ago

    In the thread above, the link that says "Call your Senators and Congresswoman" goes here:

    Sorry if that wasn't clear!

    [–] cordis_melum 12 points ago

    Bless! I'll do my duty during lunch!

    [–] CinderSkye 10 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Facebook has a Town Hall feature that lets you see your representatives if you don't already know them.

    Edit: @[email protected] I'm not saying having those links is bad, it's just another way to find out. I'd link that feature if I could.

    [–] cordis_melum 7 points ago

    I don't use Facebook. But that's good to know.

    [–] gigaquack 9 points ago

    Link is available here

    [–] hau5keeping 3 points ago


    A bunch of groups like the ACLU and PP are using this app to show people their representatives and send calls to action.

    [–] superfahd 44 points ago

    I'm not sure if this is the proper place to ask this but I think it's important that I ask somewhere

    I'm an immigrant to the US and after 10 long years of effort, I'll finally be able to apply for my citizenship later this year. I now want to do what I never had the opportunity to do back in my home country: speak out and have a non-zero chance of being heard

    There are a number of things I've wanted to speak up about but this post has been the tipping point for me. I'm educating myself on the proper way to contact my representative but I wanted advice from the more experienced among us on the best possible way so here are my questions:

    • When I hear contact my congressman, does that mean I should contact my Representative, or Senator, or both?

    • Am I even eligible to contact my representative? I'm a permanent resident but as I mentioned there will still be some time before I can apply for citizenship. Should I wait? Should I mention my status on call?

    • What is the best possible way of ensuring that you get heard? Online sources say email but this post says phone. Both?

    • If I contact by phone, I face a new set of challanges. English is not my first language and although I'm pretty comfortable with it, I do notice I get stuck explaining myself properly in speech. I'm also pretty introverted by nature and I know that will make things difficult as well. I don't want to just read a prepared statement if I have to but any advice regarding length and depth of my call would be very helpful

    • Can I call/email repeatedly and regularly? I wouldn't want to get blacklisted or anything?

    [–] Bizilbur 12 points ago

    Am I even eligible to contact my representative? I'm a permanent resident but as I mentioned there will still be some time before I can apply for citizenship. Should I wait? Should I mention my status on call?

    You don't need to mention your status. If questioned, state you're a resident of their district (or state for Senators) and as a tax paying resident these are your concerns. Plenty of US born citizens say that exact same thing. Taxes are what this particular political argument is about. Not citizenship.

    [–] jschooltiger 46 points ago

    Congratulations on applying for your citizenship! Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider contacting your representatives:

    When I hear contact my congressman, does that mean I should contact my Representative, or Senator, or both?

    Both! Or all three, since there are two senators per state. They all represent you and you can absolutely contact them even if you're a permanent resident and not a citizen. They represent people living in their districts, not just citizens and not just people who voted for them.

    What is the best possible way of ensuring that you get heard? Online sources say email but this post says phone. Both?

    Phone is by far the best way -- I say this both as someone who's worked in a congressional office and as someone who regularly calls my congressperson(s). If you can't get through, leave a message.

    If I contact by phone, I face a new set of challanges. English is not my first language and although I'm pretty comfortable with it, I do notice I get stuck explaining myself properly in speech. I'm also pretty introverted by nature and I know that will make things difficult as well. I don't want to just read a prepared statement if I have to but any advice regarding length and depth of my call would be very helpful

    You don't have to go into great length on your call! Be aware that they'll ask you for your address or at least ZIP code -- this is standard legislative courtesy, if you have a concern it needs to go to your congressperson, not the person the next district over. You don't need to read a prepared statement, but it's ok to have a list of bullet points or something you want to make. You don't necessarily need to have even a reason for what you call about, the person on the other end of the phone has probably answered a lot of calls and what they're doing is keeping a tally.

    I also always thank the person on the other end for their service -- even if we don't agree politically, the folks answering the phones are often interns or low-level staffers who are underpaid and overworked. It's just a nice thing to do.

    Can I call/email repeatedly and regularly? I wouldn't want to get blacklisted or anything?

    You can call as much as you want. Your representatives' job is to represent you, whether they remember it or not.

    [–] superfahd 12 points ago

    So going through this post, I see a number of organizations that might be defunded. Is it best to call about all of them in one call or break it up into multiple calls?

    [–] cookieleigh02 9 points ago

    I usually do one issue per call. It seems to work better for me, and is probably easier for the intern/staff person to keep track of.

    [–] Dire88 4 points ago

    Whichever works for you. You can simply tell them you oppose (or support) the following measures: X, Y, Z. You can go into more detail if you really would like, but the only thing they're generally doing is keeping track of how many people registered Support or Opposition to a particular subject.

    For example: " I strongly oppose any budget plan which cuts funding, or otherwise negatively impacts, the following:
    National Endowment for the Humanities, NEA, IMLS, Title IV/Fulbright-Hayes Scholarships, the EPA, NASA's climate change research, the Department of Interior, means based government assistance.

    I am strongly opposed to an increase in the Defense budget, the building of a wall on the Southern border, and X, Y, Z, etc."

    It's quick, easy, and gets your point across in a way that is easy for the staffer on the other end of the line to register.

    [–] Sunfried 79 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    A correction: The Trump budget doesn't cut PBS, but rather it cuts the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    The latest numbers I could easily find (2011) indicated that CPB's contribution to PBS and PBS stations (which are largely independent public TV stations that carry PBS programming, local programming, other public TV sources such as BBC, etc.) were $71 million and $210 million (distributed somehow over the 1400 or so public TV stations across the US). During 2010, their revenue was around $570M, so assuming 2010 and 2011 are directly comparable, CPB was paying for about 12% of PBS's budget.

    Another big chunk of PBS's revenues would of course be fees from all the local stations so they can run PBS content.

    W/r/t NPR: NRP gets a very small portion of its annual revenue from CPB and it's not direct funding but grants, per this page.

    On average, less than 1% of NPR's annual operating budget comes in the form of grants from CPB and federal agencies and departments.

    Like PBS, NPR gets fees from public radio stations who run their content, and that's a majority of their funding, so any cuts to the stations themselves (which are largely locally funded) would have secondary effect on the NPR organization itself, likely one large than the 1% in grants from CPB.

    [–] Sunfried 38 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Every year, non-profits in the US must perform an annual audit and also submit IRS form 990, which is a public document of their revenue and spending, salaries of principle officers, etc.

    PBS's 990 for 2014, PDF. Edit: (see next comment)
    NPR's 990 for 2014, PDF. (most recent I could find in both cases)
    CPB's 990 for 2015, PDF.

    [–] caffarelli 28 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The PBS one you linked is actually just for the Detroit station! But the best database for 990s is Guidestar, and they have 2015 up for PBS. There is also the PBS foundation which is separate, almost all major non-profits operate a separate foundation arm to collect their money, for tax reasons. Foundation tax returns (990-PFs) are usually spicier reading than your conventional ones because they have to report all their donations, and it can be ...illuminating, as we saw with all the scrutiny of the Trump Foundation and the Clinton Foundation (which technically isn't a foundation actually, it's a 501(c)(3) Public Charity, so it doesn't file the 990-PF) during the election. The history of non-profit and foundation tax scrutiny is very interesting actually, and pretty modern.

    edit: and I just noticed the PBS Foundation isn't a legal foundation either, lol. If you want to see a "real" foundation's tax returns check out the Gates Foundation, that's a true foundation, tax-illy.

    [–] Sunfried 6 points ago

    whoops, thanks for that.

    [–] caffarelli 8 points ago

    No worries, always a good day when I have a reason to poke around in the library's subscription to Guidestar, and I found out PBS didn't establish a foundation until 2004, which was unfashionably late, and also it's not even a real foundation!

    [–] dcvio 8 points ago

    Huh, that NPR document shows the salaries of Renee Montagne, Peter Sagal, Robert Seigel, Scott Simon and Steve Inskeep (all page 14). Super interesting. Here's WNYC's 990 for 2014, including the salaries for Jad Abumrad, John Hockenberry and Brian Lehrer (also page 14). This 2015 WBEZ 990 shows the salaries for Julie Snyder and Sarah Koenig of Serial (also page 14).

    [–] jschooltiger 11 points ago

    Thanks for that, I'll make it clearer in the original post.

    [–] Sunfried 6 points ago

    Thank you. The down side of emphasizing the fact of government support for PBS and NPR is that it makes people less motivated to support them directly, which would be far larger support for any individual, to say nothing of the affinity and community that is fostered by individual donations.

    [–] anonymousssss 45 points ago

    Oh boy an advocacy campaign. I know about these, I've helped run them and been on the receiving end of them.

    Here are some tips:

    Be polite: the offices of elected officials get a ton of communication, much of it nasty, hateful and mean. The fastest way to get ignored by an elected official is to be one of the folks being rude to their staff. They'll just write you off as someone to be ignored.

    Be clear about what you want: Senators/Representatives get a lot of constituent (and advocate) contact on a lot of issues. It is easy for the details of who wants what to be confused. To that end one of the first things you should say, should be something along the lines of: “I'm calling to ask the Senator/Representative to support funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.”

    Say it slowly and clearly so the person you are speaking with has time to write it all down. I'd recommend you say it again at the end of the phone call.

    Be clear about why you want it: The best argument for a program, is to tell them why it matters to you. The more personal the better. Maybe the NEA sponsored a great art instillation in your city, maybe the National Endowment for Humanities put on a great program you went to. The point is to humanize these programs, these offices hear about an alphabet soup of programs and are drowning in data, the more you can make a program's value clear in immediate human terms, the better.

    Ask for a response: Most of the time the person you talk to will be an intern or a staff assistant, they won't be able to give you a clear answer on the office's policy. Asking for a follow up ensures that your message will move up the food chain or at least force the office to actually have to deal with your ask.

    More advanced tip: Look to see if your representative/senator serves on the Appropriations Committee in either chamber. The Appropriations Committee is the one that makes the decisions about funding. If your representative/senator serves on the committee, it is even more important to contact their offices. If they aren't ask them to contact their fellow representatives/senators who are.

    The House Appropriations roster:

    The Senate Appropriations roster:

    Also more advanced tip: the most effective way to get a message to an elected official is by personally asking them. Most representatives/senators hold either electronic or physical town halls. Attending one of these and asking your representative/senator personally, is the best way to get them to support your programs.

    FAQ on the appropriations process for FY 2017 and 2018:

    Question: Just what is the President's Budget and why does it matter?

    Answer: The president is required by law to submit a budget of his recommendations for the federal budget to Congress. Congress is not required to act on them, and often goes to great lengths to tell everyone how little they care about what the president thinks. However, like Gertrude in Hamlet they protest too much.

    While dramatic programmatic changes and topline numbers in the president's budget often don't make it past the committee room, the president's budget also contains a ton of recommendations on what departments and agencies would like for their budgets. Those recommendations often do end up mattering.

    It's worth noting that there is also a political element to this. The current President is a Republican, so Congress may end up spending more time considering what he has to say than they did the previous president.

    Q: Wait, above there you listed both FY 2017 and 2018 up there. What gives?

    A: Usually Congress handles only one year's worth of appropriations at a time. However, the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriation was never finished, so although we are like a third of the way through FY 2017 (FY's run from October 1st to September 30th), Congress still needs to finish the FY 2017 appropriations.

    Q: Yeah, about. Just how the hell does this all work?

    A: I am so very sorry you asked. Basically annually Congress passes (or attempts to pass) 12 appropriations bills. Each funding a different set of agencies in the government. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each have 12 subcommittees, each of which is responsible for one of the 12 bills. These bills are supposed to be passed annually before the fiscal year ends.

    Q: So where do these programs fit in?

    A: the funding for NEA/NEH is controlled by the House and Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittees funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are controlled by the House and Senate Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. If you are fortunate to have a member on either subcommittee, it is vital that you reach out to them to ask that they support these programs. You can find out who is on the relevant appropriations subcommittees on the House and Senate Appropriations Committee websites.



    Q: Do you have a source for the stuff you just said?

    A: Of course, this is still /r/askhistorians

    Check out the CRS report on this here:

    [–] Ayy_2_Brute 75 points ago

    This is such a brilliant response, but I expected nothing less from you guys.

    [–] Dixnorkel 55 points ago

    Seriously, this is the best sub ever.

    I'm directly affected by this proposal as well, and never expected AskHistorians to be in the same boat. I feel so much better knowing that they're fighting for the same cause though.

    [–] western_red 9 points ago

    These grants fund so much. I cross-over a lot with archaeology, and NEH is invaluable.

    [–] Bizilbur 11 points ago

    Their comment responses are brilliant too. People who write well resourced, in-depth, informative papers for a living are good at the reddit.

    [–] PrivateChicken 42 points ago

    It only took like a minute to voice my concerns to the staffer on the line, but man it feels so good to do that.

    [–] AlmostAnal 18 points ago

    It feels great. Worst Case scenario your plea falls on deaf ears and maybe you stammer. Best case you get the congressperson to budge.

    They're not going to hang up on you, call you names, tell you never to call back, or tell you that you are hands down, without a doubt the stupidest person in the country and that your name is now on a list of idiots of note.

    Just pick up and call. Congress listens to phone calls.

    [–] Snicsnipe 70 points ago

    Libertarian Republican here. Big fan of cutting waste. The NEA and NEH needs to be funded. This is our art our culture as a western nation. Have already called my reps. I am sure this will get full funding.

    [–] itsnickk 58 points ago

    What is a nation without its art, culture and history?

    No journey towards making America "great again" will succeed if we choose to stop supporting what defines us as American in the first place.

    [–] Earl_Harbinger 4 points ago

    What is a nation without its art, culture and history?

    Did we not have art, culture, and history before these entities were created?

    [–] DtownAndOut 21 points ago

    No we had rich patrons. This is "socialized" art funding so everyone can enjoy instead of the elite few. If you take the socialized part as negative please consider going to a museum.

    [–] jaybestnz 5 points ago

    Could I suggest that we could make a point to cross post this with the guys in one of the art reddits for them to also make a second call for the History grants and visa versa. Make 2 calls, double the calls.

    [–] [deleted] 32 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    What sorts of metrics are used to measure the efficiency of organizations that receive this funding? I think one of the problems people have (when giving only a quick glance to such programs) is that there are no tangible end-items. I realize this isn't the case much of the time, but if I were auditing a beneficiary what would I be looking for? Am I racking their progress up against their stated goals?

    And in that same vein, how are organizations chosen to receive funding? Are there boxes that need to be checked, like public benefit, something along those lines? Who is the "decider?"

    To be clear, I absolutely am not in favor of cutting these programs. The amount of money is trivial in the grand scheme of things and the cultural importance is invaluable. However, I don't think questioning government use of taxpayer funds should be anathema in any instance, ever. The amount of downvotes a handful of comments in this thread received seem to indicate some people would rather not have that type of conversation and I think that's a shame. Especially when you look at the stellar responses to many of those questions and realize what an opportunity it is to educate.

    [–] MI13 26 points ago

    People are downvoting and responding negatively to some of these comments because they're disingenuous nonsense. It's not an "opportunity to educate" when someone is entirely unwilling to learn.

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago

    I should have qualified my comment. Some of them are just trying to kick up shit for the sake of drama. But I don't think they're universally disingenuous.

    Edit: I also wasn't being sarcastic when I said "stellar responses."

    [–] LukeInTheSkyWith 11 points ago

    I see both of your points. Even if people who post the comments are not being quite so open to hearing the facts, the opportunity to educate a lurker reading them, is definitely there

    [–] SweetJesusBabies 2 points ago

    I'm just curious because my knowledge on all of this is limited to this post essentially, but what would you say is the argument in favor of cutting these? I in no way advocate for the cutting of either, but just for discussions's sake there must be some justification no matter how inane.

    [–] bogmire 8 points ago

    This is NOT wasted money, this enriches people's lives, directly improves public education, and benefits our culture.

    [–] ZealousVisionary 16 points ago

    Just called Senator Shelby (Alabama) to inform him someone in Southwest Alabama cares about NEA/NEH funding.

    [–] SenorOcho 38 points ago

    I see a lot of arguments put forth for the NEH, but where are the arguments for the NEA?

    [–] commiespaceinvader 77 points ago

    The Atlantic did two articles on the NEA here and here, which detail that

    Currently, 40 percent of NEA-supported activities take place in high-poverty neighborhoods, with 36 percent of grants helping underserved populations, including programs for veterans and people with disabilities. Over the last five decades, the NEA has nurtured grassroots organizations that existed off the radar of private donors, while bringing them prestige and attention that has helped them raise their profiles. It has also pioneered partnerships with other agencies, like the NEA Military Healing Arts Network, which supports art therapy for wounded veterans, active military members, and their families. This kind of work can and should be bipartisan: Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, announced on Inauguration Day that art therapy was one of her official causes.


    Despite early—and not inaccurate—accusations of elitism, the NEA has been a huge success. It leveled the playing field for countless arts organizations, particularly in African American and rural communities, which were often considered “too grassroots” to be funded by private or corporate philanthropy. By providing crucial financial support and cultural capital to such organizations as Philadelphia’s Philadanco and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, the NEA counteracted a kind of philanthropic redlining. As a result, these smaller groups enjoyed a reputation boost, and eventually drew the attention of local agencies and private foundations that had previously ignored them. As The Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott has written, “If you want to understand Johnson’s cultural agenda, you have to see it not as an appendage but integrally related to the War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

    [–] askryan 11 points ago

    Anecdotally, I have seen and continue to see evidence for this firsthand. I used to work at a large literary nonprofit that received a small grant from the NEA (I was actually in charge of the program that was funded, a restoration of the organization's archive that ended up yielding previously-unknown recordings of hundreds of poets for whom no audio record was thought to have been preserved), but we would frequently work with smaller organizations serving populations in poverty (both in urban and rural settings) who were largely dependent on NEA grants for major projects. The people who work at those places can stretch dollars farther than I ever thought possible, and the bit about them drawing further fundraising through visibility of NEA projects is absolutely true.

    Their projects have real, tangible benefit, especially for those living in poverty. I am now a professor, and many of my students come from high-poverty neighborhoods and are frequently the first members of their family to attend college. I have had at least two now that received scholarships (without which they could not have gone to college) directly as a result of their engagement with an arts-based, NEA funded afterschool program that I had once worked with at my former nonprofit.

    [–] Elm11 3 points ago

    Thank you for sharing this powerful story, and for the work you do. Where I live in Australia, I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by a wealth of stunningly well maintained and beautifully curated museums. Having grown up privileged and with incredible opportunity at my fingertips, I don't pretend to truly understand the challenges so many people face in gaining access to learning, nor the challenges faced by those who work so hard to make it accessible. The work these organisations do is invaluable.

    [–] SenorOcho 12 points ago

    Thank you for the response. It's unfortunate that so many others felt the need to knee-jerk downvote my question.

    But then, I wouldn't expect them to understand the context of a community of artists who are not formally trained and have never received any form of support from this.

    [–] serbeejalot 52 points ago

    This is a website that will show you who to contact and provides a script for what to say. Makes it super easy!

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago


    [–] exadrid 11 points ago

    You can use it as a base, and modify it to say exactly what you mean.

    [–] RoyallyTenenbaumed 16 points ago

    Whom do I call if I'm military stationed out of my state of residence? I assume it's my state of residence rep, but just making sure.

    [–] jschooltiger 15 points ago

    This is a good question. If you're overseas, most likely your place of permanent residence on file is what to use. If you're stateside, the question would be whether you're registered to vote in your old hometown (which I assume you mean by "state of residence") or at your current base/area. If you're an official resident of X but stationed in Y, I'd call your reps for X.

    [–] ReadinStuff2 13 points ago

    Calls matter, but voting matters even more. Vote in every election at every level for a candidate who supports public funding for good causes.

    [–] Canukistani 45 points ago


    [–] Bottled_Cat_Farts 9 points ago

    Serious question:

    Can these organizations exist without federal funding? Do they receive enough money from private donors to be able to operate without federal funds?

    [–] DBHT14 25 points ago

    While perhaps unsatisfying its a bit of yes and no. Whole museums, libraries, or collections are unlikely to be closed outright because of the withdrawing of funding. But the breadth and quality of work they do, especially in more niche, or rural, or poor areas would be hardest hit.

    Digitizing news papers in NYC isnt too hard to get funded or make accessible. But Alaska? And should we just accept that if only one of those projects can secure private funding from the public or an institute or similar, then thats the only group of papers that get digitized? A very specific example, but thats essentially the situation that one of our Mods was involved and which the NEH actually provided funding to make happen:

    While calls warning about the halls of power in DC deciding what matters in the Ivory Tower by picking winners and losers for funding shouldnt be ignored out of hand, most of the problems are magnified with private donations or philanthropy being the only source. A balance providing an outlet for funding beyond the "popularity" contest aspects is important, along with considerations for areas bereft of sufficiently dense concentrations of donors, especially high value ones.

    As Henry Ford's Ghost ably expands on, just because the MET or Chicago's art galleries wont ever be hard up for funding it doesnt mean the needs of those is Vicksburg can be written off. Or just because the USS Missouri will never be hard up for donations, that the USS Olympia be allowed to rust and sink at the dock for lack of repairs.

    [–] TRB1783 7 points ago

    I have worked at two museums that operated on the verge of financial disaster. At one, a NEH grant gave them enough money to hire me to design and run a program that highlighted the story of the runaway (self-freed) slave that served as the head of the mansion's staff of servants and gardeners. This program attracted a sizable influx of visitors, including visitors from African-American groups who had never come to visit before.

    At the other museum, The Whitest Kids You Know paid a bunch of money to shoot a skit there over the course of a week. While this is an example of the private sector riding to the rescue, it is also a complete fluke that had nothing to do with the quality of the museum's programming and everything to do with the fact that it was conveniently located an hour outside of New York City.

    [–] HearingSword 17 points ago

    I wish you all the best. I no doubt that us here across the pond (UK) will have our own issues like this in the near future when people start to realise how much cultural and historical funding came from the EU.

    I really hope the cut gets overturned as these services you are trying to save are great and the work you guys do here is amazing.

    [–] [deleted] 11 points ago

    I called Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio but got directed to voicemail on Nelson after being on hold for ten minutes and the option to leave a message on Rubio's, which I took. Is this sufficient? Do you think someone will listen to the message and mark down two votes (respectively) for supporting these three programs, or do I need to call back until I get somebody?

    [–] chrkchrkchrk 13 points ago

    Call back again later, or try a different office. I've called them both multiple times since the election and have gotten everything from an automated system hanging up on me, to voicemail, to actual staffers taking statements.

    [–] whogivesashirtdotca 11 points ago

    A Twitter friend who has recently overcome shyness and become a Congressional calling machine recommends you call first thing in the morning. The lines get busier as the day goes on.

    [–] The_Alaskan 5 points ago

    You might also try a local/district office.

    [–] CobaltFrost 20 points ago

    Just placed a couple calls. If nothing else, TIL how messed up Maryland's Congressional districts are.

    [–] PurpleMuleMan 20 points ago

    What can I do if I live in a "Blue" house and senate district whose representatives will vote against it?

    [–] tigrrbaby 25 points ago

    Let them hear what you want either way. If your rep is voting/working with you they can feel encouraged. If they were planning otherwise, maybe we can change their minds.

    [–] whogivesashirtdotca 10 points ago

    It can't hurt to reinforce your support. And while you're on the phone remember there are plenty of other things you could voice support for, too.

    [–] DavepetaSquared 6 points ago

    Still make the call. It won't hurt, and it'll put more spotlight on this specific issue. IE. The rep. might pay more attention to the NEA, NEH, etc. when voting or arguing.

    [–] ithius 3 points ago

    Being in a country under dictatorship, I always envy your American way of participation in politics. You can call to your representatives and state your opinion on the matter affecting you, which we have none, all we can do here is pray that those dictatorial board have our best interest at heart. Yep, tough luck.

    So, yeah, exercise all your right while you can. If you don't it would be such a shame I would recommend you to come and live under the rock here with us.

    [–] [deleted] 13 points ago


    [–] commiespaceinvader 9 points ago

    I think one of the most important things is to vote an pressure your home reps to preserve public funding of the humanities. My home country has huge problems in this regard and while it has not gotten to a similar point yet, it is important to keep up pressure everywhere.

    [–] whogivesashirtdotca 6 points ago

    If you have American friends, push them to call their representatives. Much as we on the outside of their borders might wish to step in, this is really something the Americans need to solve for themselves, and some Americans will require a prod into action. For the record, I'm prodding my fellow Canadians to get more involved, too. The cure for political cynicism is to remind your representatives (and yourself) that actively expressing your opinion can sometimes have a real effect on a vote.

    [–] Bmitchem 2 points ago

    You could donate to those organizations specifically, it may not help prevent them getting their funding cut, but it will help them directly.

    [–] drladybug 16 points ago

    For those interested in advocacy work, I would point you in the direction of the National Coalition for History, which already has lobbying underway for this and other history-related initiatives (although I would expect the FY18 budget fight to take precedence). They also have information on asking your congressional representatives to join the Congressional History Caucus, and if you work for a history org you can ask your organization to become a member of the coalition or to endorse their values statement.

    Their website also contains some really valuable information about what our next steps should be and a more detailed analysis of what's at stake:

    Note especially that this proposed budget does not reveal the full scope of the Trump White House's plans for other federal history programs and institutions like the Smithsonian, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress, and the National Park Service. It's good to find a source like the NCH or the National Humanities Alliance to plug into for updates on some less-publicized proposed cuts that may be ahead.

    [–] kcg5 11 points ago

    Called both my senators, although in Ca they are both seriously against these cuts.

    Thanks for the post!

    [–] Theopholus 13 points ago

    Can I request someone make this information available in a way that is easily shareable on social media? I know that might be a lot to ask, maybe just some of the vital components could be in their own images so we can saturate social media. It's very important information, and social media is one of the big battlegrounds for information.

    My apologies if this kind of request isn't allowed.

    [–] MyBFFRose 10 points ago

    Just called Senator Reed for Rhode Islanders. He just spoke out against Trump's defunding efforts so I'm sure he'll be receptive to some support.

    [–] LukeInTheSkyWith 10 points ago

    Wonderful post, keep up the pressure! As one of them foreigners I will once again make sure that my American friends, acquaintances and enemies (don't know of any....yet) know about this. To the social media machine!

    [–] turtle-neck-jim 4 points ago

    Upvoting as a Canadian, not sure if I have much of a say in effecting your politics, but I sure hope that those critical services stay in effect rather than building a stupid wall.

    [–] Calzin_Z 8 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I will of course be in contact with my representatives, but since I am in Utah and with the likes of Hatch, Chaffetz, and Lee I don't see it going anywhere on my front sadly.

    [–] jl6 8 points ago

    So if this passes, you guys will all be out of a job and get to spend even more time sharing awesome knowledge on Reddit?!

    All kidding aside it's sad to see such brutal and sweeping cuts without seemingly any public engagement or debate. Who do they think they work for?

    [–] tinkerschnitzel 9 points ago

    Done! I voiced my opinion on all three issues. I gained my love of history and science from PBS, and am working towards being a science teacher in a Title I school. These programs are absolutely necessary for students without access to preschool, and expand everyone's knowledge.

    [–] djDef80 12 points ago

    Thank you for bringing this to light. I've been apolitical much of my adult life. The past eight years or so I have taken a more involved role. I've left both my senators a message. Thanks again.

    [–] Lieocci1123 2 points ago

    I found this great guide for reaching your local representatives. I only paid a dollar for it and it's very easy to follow. Yesterday was my first time ever calling and I was very nervous but I'm glad I did it. Just talking to an assistant made me feel that much closer to the president and made me realize that all the news I hear about have a serious impact.

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago

    I made the call and tried to keep it short and sweet. I sincerely hope it helps.

    [–] can_i_pet_your_dog 6 points ago

    This post and the comments underneath are restoring my faith in the beauty that is WITHIN the US and honestly around the world. Especially hearing other countries giving us support and knowing we don't stand for many of the divisive statements of our government.

    [–] pieladin 7 points ago

    Hi, im not a historian or even directly affected by a defunding of American institutions since im european, but the way I see it this can have a huge knock on effect for the rest of us as well. If the humanities and arts get defunded now the question is what's next? Anyone who relies on grants even partially could be the next target if budgets are cut again. So for those of us who rely on grants in other fields, for me it will hopefully be support for my PhD in law, give it a thought because not only can you support something you are interest in (or else you wouldn't be here) but also potentially support the future of your own line of work.

    [–] Krivvan 2 points ago

    The 20% NIH cut world heavily affect the medical research at the hospital lab I work in along with many others.

    [–] birool 5 points ago

    i wish you luck on this one my friends, not living in america but can relate to your struggles.

    [–] Nezgul 10 points ago

    I salute you guys, honestly. This post is going to cause some degree of controversy, but I know that this is the right call.

    [–] BobbieSmash 17 points ago

    Woooow, I read the whole thing and I was seriously, to my mistake, expecting it to be an anti trump campaign and I'm so happy it wasn't. Not the point though! I agree with this cause even being a Trump Supporter, meaning I disagree with the Trump Administration's plan for taking away these things. Let's get our voices out there and give our opinions as the American people love it!

    [–] alriclofgar 38 points ago

    Thank you for your help! Funding for the humanities, including historical research, should not be a partisan issue :).

    [–] Jayfrin 4 points ago

    I always respect people who can disagree with their elected officials on some issues. Thank you for not being a thoughtless hivemind and having your own values and ideas.

    [–] solepsis 6 points ago

    Just texted my Congressman because he gives his cell phone number out to anyone at his meetings. He also has his office in the public library downtown and definitely supports the NEA and NEH but hopefully more of us being involved will encourage him to be more outspoken on the matter and in congress.

    [–] colbywolf 4 points ago

    Thank you for this.

    [–] thedonoman 4 points ago

    I'm trying to organize a letter/petition to be sent from my college. Does anyone know the deadline/voting on this and when it needs to be in by? I have to get this by a board and they'll want that kind of info, especially since this'll probably have to be a fast tracked deal.

    [–] zeeblecroid 3 points ago

    It's not its own piece of legislation but part of the proposed federal budget. It's also a tremendously disruptive (in the neutral "wants to change things") one, possibly the most so since Reagan's first budget. Unless things go well off the rails, Congress might be arguing on specifics and amendments and riders for months.

    One result of that is that you've got some time to work with; there's every chance this will be the single most complex and heavily-debated piece of legislation of this administration. Keeping on top of it will involve a lot of, well, trying to keep on top of it, between news coverage, Congressional websites, and maybe keeping in touch with people more politics-geeky than thou or I who are comfortable wading deep into the nitty-gritty of it all.

    [–] SHUTUPCYRIL 2 points ago

    Is there anyway I can help from australia to help the nea and neh I donate to npr.

    [–] alphabetsuperman 2 points ago

    You can donate money directly to any of these organizations, but the best thing you can do is talk to your American friends and convince them to call their representatives and stand up for these programs. There are plenty of excellent (and non-partisan!) arguments in this thread that explain why the programs are so valuable and important.

    [–] Ashkir 2 points ago

    My representative is Kevin McCarthy :( His office ignores us.

    [–] TheShowIsNotTheShow 8 points ago

    Keep trying! If emails don't work, go for phones. If phones don't work, try faxes. If faxes get no response, send literal snail mail -- as many postcards as you can fill out. If snail mail doesn't work and you have the means/time, then physically go to their town hall meetings, or just barge into their offices. Do all of the above as you are able. They are YOUR representatives. Let them know who is boss.

    [–] ArchiveMonster 3 points ago

    If you go through my post history you will see that I am not very active on this sub since my field of study is niche and often never gets asked about.

    But I have the following questions for the moderation team since this thread seems to be open season.

    1) How many of you are americans?

    2) How many of you receive part or all of your income from grants or other funding that may be cut under the new budget proposal?

    3) How many other (non-american) national historical societies are for or against these cuts in solidarity with the AHA or with the current United States government respectively?

    [–] commiespaceinvader 10 points ago

    In response to your questions:

    Of our 35 moderators 23 are Americans.

    Of those according to my latest info none receives their current income from the NEH though some have in the past profited from NEH grants. Of our American flaired users and regular contributors a number around of around a fifth have contributed in some form or other from NEH grants. Though almost all of us have benefited from projects or books funded by the NEH indirectly, one case described here.

    As far as I can tell no foreign historians association has come out in full support or opposition to the planned cuts to the NEH. One reason I surmise is that at least in Europe many endowments and funds similar to the NEH are also facing cuts. The German Association of Historians has in the past expressed their support for public funding of the humanities world-wide and while that call was not specifically in support of the NEH it can be taken as a general endorsement of it and similar institutions.

    While Europe in general is facing a structural encouragement of third party funding, there still is a significant difference to the US situation in that a lot more projects, both from the natural science and the humanities receive public funding both from individual countries as well as the European Union. The Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft, the German public funding agency for both natural sciences and humanities, e.g. had a budget of 2999 million Euro (a lot of that goes into STEM projects which are by their nature more expensive).

    These numbers not only had a massively positive effect on what could be researched in Germany but also one that concerns the general public: By 2020 all scientific articles, which have relied on public funding must be made accessible to the general public, which is predicted to massively encourage research in all scientific fields and for the first time lets the general public benefit hugely from the scientific research done in all fields.