President Biden Issues Proclamation on National Arts and Humanities Month, Includes Executive Order to Promote the Arts, the Humanities, and Museum and Library Services
President Joseph R. Biden issued a proclamation today designating October 2022 as National Arts and Humanities Month. In the proclamation, the President announced a new Executive Order that advances a whole-of-government policy for the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services, including the re-establishment of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) “to inform and support the national engagement with Americans necessary to advance the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services.”
The Executive Order declares the Biden-Harris Administration’s policy to advance equity, accessibility, and opportunities for all Americans, and to strengthen the creative and cultural economy of the United States by promoting the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services. The order recognizes not just the intrinsic value of the arts and humanities, but also that they “are essential to the well-being, health, vitality, and democracy of our Nation. They are the soul of America, reflecting our multicultural and democratic experience.” It seeks to integrate the arts, humanities, and museum and library services into policies, programs, and partnerships throughout the Federal government to tackle the greatest challenges of our time, such as the climate crisis and the scourge of hate-fueled violence, and to “keep pushing forward to form a more perfect Union.”
The order re-establishes a committee to advise the President and the heads of the three U.S. cultural agencies—the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—on policy objectives, philanthropic and private sector engagement, and other efforts to enhance federal support for the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services. The Committee will also engage the nation’s artists, humanities scholars, and cultural heritage practitioners in initiatives that promote excellence in the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services and demonstrate their relevance to the country’s health, economy, equity, and civic life. The order also directs enhanced cooperation and partnership among agencies across the Federal government with IMLS, NEA, and NEH to advance the President’s policy.
“This Executive Order is an opportunity to reflect on the impact library and museum programs have on our communities. The creativity and inspiration artists, authors, and philosophers provide lead us to fuller, richer experiences. As two of the most trusted institutions, libraries and museums provide access that allows us to engage with the arts, humanities, and diverse cultures to bring about a more informed and engaged society,” said Crosby Kemper, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “IMLS is honored to be part of this Executive Order and the newly relaunched President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as we look to build partnerships to advance this initiative over the coming years.”
Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, of the National Endowment for the Arts said, “This national recognition offers a moment to reflect on the value that arts and culture bring to our lives and communities. The arts promote understanding, give voice to our humanity, and help us steward our authentic, deeply rich, and varied histories and narratives. This is an extraordinary moment for the arts and humanities with this whole-of-government approach that will be integral to advancing the health, economy, equity, and democracy of the nation. We are thrilled to work with this committee, and we are grateful to the President for his vision.”
“We are thrilled that the Biden-Harris Administration has chosen to recognize the essential importance of the humanities to the health and success of our nation and communities by designating this month of observation and reconvening a presidential committee to augment NEH’s efforts to reach all Americans,” said Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “This executive order will elevate the humanities and help American communities reach their full potential through engagement with history, literature, languages, and cultural heritage.” ices. Funding and administrative support for the committee will be provided by IMLS.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.