Thanks to all who recently contacted their Congressional representatives to speak out against the proposed 49% cuts to the National Endowment for the Humanities. More than 3,000 individuals sent messages through the Federation of State Humanities Councilsadvocacy site. Those messages were delivered directly to Congressional offices, providing powerful testimony that reducing support for public humanities programs will harm individuals and communities across the United States.

Your voices matter:  the House Appropriations Committee met in August and both Democrat and Republican representatives used your comments to argue for increased funding. Although the amendment to increase NEH funding was defeated in the Appropriation hearing, your voices were heard.

The debate comes at the beginning of a process that is likely to continue for several months. A final budget bill for 2014 has not yet been adopted by the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Although Congress is in recess during August, you can still impact the debate about federal support for the public humanities. Call or write your representatives to explain why the humanities matter. Your voice is a critical part of the national conversation.

This is the beginning of a long process. Please continue to speak up, passionately and often.