Oregonians meet with members of Congress at annual humanities meeting
Oregon Council for the Humanities goes to Washington, D.C., for Humanities on the Hill 2009
27 February 2009 | Permalink
At this year’s annual Humanities on the Hill in Washington, D.C., held on March 2 and 3, 2009, board and staff members of the Oregon Council for the Humanities (OCH) will meet with Senators and members of Congress to lobby support for increases in funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), of which OCH is an independent, nonprofit affiliate.
Attendees include Cara Ungar-Gutierrez, OCH Executive Director, and OCH Board members Kathleen Davis of Medford, former Regional Development Director of the Oregon Community Foundation; Gretchen Schuette of Lincoln City, President Emeritus of Chemeketa Community College and former Commissioner of Oregon Community Colleges; and Win McCormack of Portland, Publisher of Tin House and chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s President’s Council.
OCH receives approximately 60 percent of its funding from the NEH. This funding supports such statewide programs as summer Teacher Institutes, free weekend institutes for Oregon secondary school teachers; Humanity in Perspective (HIP), a free year-long college-level course in the humanities offered to economically and educationally disadvantaged Oregonians; Summer Honors Symposium, which provides bright Portland-area teens with the opportunity to explore humanities topics; Oregon Chautauqua, a popular statewide speakers bureau that brings scholars and speakers to more than eighty Oregon communities each year; and Public Program Grants, which OCH awards to nonprofit organizations in Oregon that support activities that encourage critical thinking and public engagement with the humanities.
OCH joins state humanities councils from across the country to host members of Congress in the two-day meeting. Azar Nafisi, best-selling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Carole Watson, the Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be the featured guests at a March 2 reception for members of Congress. Remarks at the reception will be offered by Watson, whom President Obama recently chose as Acting Chairman of the NEH.
“At a time when state governments are struggling to meet growing needs with shrinking budgets, State Humanities Councils play an important role not only in providing a conduit for getting funds to local institutions, but also by offering citizens programs that encourage them to address current challenges by reflecting on the lessons of our past and drawing inspiration from our great writers and thinkers,” said Esther Mackintosh, President of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.