Use your voice to support public humanities programming.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is crucial to preserving the history and culture of our state and our nation. Humanities Tennessee is one of 56 state and territorial humanities councils that receive substantial support from the NEH each year. Support our work and impact by calling or emailing your members of Congress to urge their support of funding for the NEH and the state humanities councils.

Contact information for Tennessee Congressional representatives are provided below. Please use the provided talking points to contact the members.

Your Representative

The importance of funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities cannot be stressed enough, and we encourage you to use your voice to help narrate our story.

Below are talking points to emphasize in your letters, emails, or phone calls to members of Congress.

Humanities Tennessee Impact:

  • Humanities Tennessee (HT) invests more than $100,000 annually in re-grants to support the cultural infrastructure of the state. These funds help generate additional local financial support.
  • HT reaches more than 500,000 Tennesseans annually with original literary content on, its online publication featuring book reviews, essays, author Q&A’s, and author events around the state.
  • HT provides thousands of books to Title 1 school students along with author visits to discuss the books, engage in conversation about being a professional writer, and practice critical thinking.
  • HT hosts the annual Southern Festival of Books featuring more than 150 authors, performance stages, community partners, children’s activities, and more for an audience of more than 10,000. All events are free to the public.
  • HT increases access to lifelong learning through the Tennessee Association of Museum scholarship program and Tennessee History Day.
  • HT partners with local nonprofits and universities to promote active citizenship.

And during a time of great hardship for public museums, historical societies, cultural nonprofits, and other organizations doing important humanities programming, HT was able to swiftly re-grant nearly $1.5 million combines in CARES grants for immediate relief and SHARP grants for long-term recovery and sustainability. These grant programs also stimulated new partnerships and programs, availed several organizations of the opportunity to apply for additional grant funds, and supported 294 Tennessee jobs in full or in part.

“Thanks to funding from Humanities Tennessee, the International Storytelling Center was able to hold the 50th National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee for the first time since 2019. This funding allowed us to revive a one-of-a-kind cultural event that connects people from rural areas throughout Northeast Tennessee with powerful storytelling performances representing traditions from across the globe. Our community desperately needed this event, and the multi-million dollar tourism impact it brings to our area, as a vital part of our economic and cultural recovery from the pandemic.”

For additional information and support advocating for funding for the humanities, please contact Sandy Obodzinski, Development & Communication Director at

Pictured left: Tim Henderson, executive director; Mary Pom Claiborne, board chair; Sandy Obodzinski, development & communications director participating in the 2023 Humanities on the Hill outreach and advocacy event. They shared the impact of HT’s work with the members and staff of Tennessee’s delegation to the U.S. Congress.


Support the arts and humanities with a Specialty License Plate.

What better way to tell the world you support the arts than with a @TN Arts Commission Arts plate? Just take your old plate to your county clerk and swap it—they will prorate your tag fees, so you don’t have to wait until your tag renewal is due. And there are so many beautiful designs to choose from. Get yours today!

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