June 9, 2016
Connecticut Governor Danell Malloy has chosen to use his veto powers to eliminate funding for Connecticut Humanities in the state budget for FY 2016-17, which begins July 1. The governor’s unprecedented decision to cut CT Humanities’ $1.73 million line-item will have little if any impact on the state’s overall budget situation, but it will devastate important cultural and community organizations – schools, libraries, museums – in every city and town in Connecticut. Below is the letter AASLH has sent to Governor Malloy in support of CT Humanities and the important work they do. We urge you to use Connecticut Humanities’ model letter to contact Governor Malloy (Malloy.Office@ct.gov) and, if you are a Connecticut resident, your state representative and senator in support of Connecticut Humanities. If possible, let Connecticut’s state leadership know how you, your organization, or your community have benefited from a Connecticut Humanities grant or program. See Connecticut Humanities’ statement here and visit CTPlacesMatter.com for more ways to help. Further coverage on WNPR here.
Dear Governor Malloy:
On behalf of the American Association for State and Local History, which represents thousands of history organizations, history professionals, and volunteers across the country and in your state, we urge you to restore the $1.7 million in funding for the Connecticut Humanities in the coming fiscal year. As representatives of historic sites and institutions that rely on government funding for the humanities, we can attest to the power of historical and cultural programs to transform lives.
Support for Connecticut Humanities, while a miniscule slice of the overall Connecticut state budget, reaches every corner of the state: 355 competitive grants and 275 programs in the past three years alone, affecting hundreds of communities. This has an incredible multiplier effect. As you know, it seeds programs and institutions that enrich lives, bolster K-12 education and lifelong learning, provide families with shared experiences, catalyze matching funds from the private sector, and even cement the bonds of communities as they address challenging current issues and work to unite diverse constituencies.
In challenging times of political division, cultural challenges, global competition, and economic uncertainty, the humanities are vital. Experiencing history and literature, philosophy and archaeology, languages and ethics teaches essential civic and critical thinking skills, fosters innovation and economic competiveness, and connects us to each other through an understanding of our common ideals and shared heritage. The humanities are the “mystic chords of memory” that Abraham Lincoln reminded us must bind the nation together.
We urge you and your legislative colleagues to find a way to reinstate state funding for Connecticut Humanities. Thank you.
Julia Rose, AASLH Council Chair
John Dichtl, AASLH President & CEO
For 75 years, AASLH has provided leadership and support for its many thousands of members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all.