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California Humanities’ Advocacy Results in First-Ever State Budget Funding Allocation

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For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Claudia Leung, cleung@calhum.org, 415.391.1474 x303

July 25, 2019

(Oakland, CA) — California Humanities is pleased to announce the success of advocacy efforts resulting in the first-ever allocation of state funding to the organization. The budget appropriation requests led by California State Senator Ben Allen and California State Assembly Member Rob Bonta allocating $1 million of the state budget to California Humanities are included in the 2019-2020 state budget. A nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), California Humanities has relied solely on federal funding, private foundations, and individual giving to support its numerous grants and programs throughout California over its almost 45-year history.

“We are grateful to Senator Allen, Assembly Member Bonta, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, and state legislators who signed our letter of support,” said California Humanities President and CEO Julie Fry. “Their approval of this funding confirms what we’ve known for a long timethat the people of California value the opportunities to connect with and learn from each other. We are proud and humbled by the bipartisan investment made by the state of California in emphasizing the role of the humanities in building stronger and more connected communities throughout California.”

“In this era of poisonous divisiveness in our public discourse, the work of California Humanities is more important than ever,” said Senator Allen. “By telling the stories of our state’s diverse residents, sharing their culture, stories, heritage, and unique perspectives, California Humanities fosters understanding, pluralism, and inclusiveness that is vital to a civil society. I’m very pleased that the state legislature got behind our request to expand the reach of this wonderful organization in this year’s state budget.”

“The humanities bring us closer together, show us who we are, help us understand one another, and strengthen our bonds as humans,” said Assembly Member Bonta. “Those are values that California Humanities is all about, and I am proud that for the first time, the State Legislature has passed funding to support this vital work.”

Inclusion in the 2019-2020 state budget was the result of efforts by California Humanities and supportive legislators that spanned three years. California Humanities staff, board, and partners have engaged with state legislators since 2017 to build awareness of the public humanities across California and in their districts while learning more about their priorities. California Humanities’ efforts in Sacramento also included an informational hearing—California and the Humanities: Building Bridges and Amplifying Voices—with the Joint Committee on Arts in 2018, and the first ever Humanities Advocacy Day at the State Capitol in 2019.

ABOUT CALIFORNIA HUMANITIES
California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit calhum.org, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For hi-res press images & interviews: Claudia Leung, cleung@calhum.org, 415.391.1474 x303

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