Humanities Washington Receives Increased Funding from State Legislature
It’s immensely gratifying when community members show their support for Humanities Washington’s work. But it’s even more gratifying when their calls to elected officials lead to funding for additional programs.
It was such an outpouring of support that just led Governor Jay Inslee, the Washington State Legislature, Secretary of State Kim Wyman, and others to secure increased state funding for Speakers Bureau and the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions. The message they sent is clear: In a divided Washington, we need more opportunities to come together with our neighbors and explore our common history and culture.
Importantly, this charge was led by people on both sides of the political spectrum, who may sit on opposite sides of a huge divide but know that bridges can and must be built.
Reaching rural communities that may not have access to a college or large cultural institution has always been a priority for Humanities Washington, and the extra funding for Speakers Bureau will go toward delivering more Speakers Bureau talks to rural areas throughout Washington State. The urban/rural divide is a big part of the national conversation, and this funding will enable us to hear from more rural voices. We’re also delighted that the amount we received for the biennium—$100,000—is the most we’ve ever received from the state for Speakers Bureau, a testament to the program’s increasing importance in our polarized society. (We are also currently recruiting for our 2019-2020 roster! Apply by April 23.)
Our new Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, presented in partnership with ArtsWA, received support as well for a Heritage Apprenticeships program. The program will preserve and promote important traditions within the state of Washington, enhance job skills, and provide employment opportunities. To join, view the link here.
We’re deeply grateful to Governor Inslee, Secretary Wyman, Senator Christine Rolfes, Representative Timm Ormsby, and countless other legislators for their support. We also know that this increase wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of our community. It was earned by everyone who has attended one of our events, by those who called their representatives to let them know the humanities matter, and by the Humanities Washington board members and staff who criss-crossed our state capitol making visits to their elected officials.
Thank you to everyone who generously gave their time and effort so that our state can be a more connected, thoughtful, and understanding place for all.
As an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, we invest in and leverage federal dollars to libraries, museums, festivals, and community events across the state. We have allies across the political spectrum who understand that the humanities are vital for the cultural, civic, and economic life of our country, but they need to know from their constituents that the humanities matter. We invite you to urge Congress to continue its strong support of the NEH and state humanities councils like ours. Visit our advocacy page to make your voice heard.