No question, our last fiscal year, which ended June 30, ended on a rough note. Two thirds of our organization’s budget, some $1.73 million, vanished as a result of a line-item veto after the new state budget was signed into law. Sadly, that means the Connecticut Humanities Fund we have administered for more than 20 years has vanished, too, as it was made possible by the state funds.
But as one of 56 humanities councils across the United States and its territories, we receive an annual appropriation from the National Endowment for the Humanities that largely covers our operating expenses. We are further supported by specific foundation grants and generous individual donors, like you.
At its annual meeting on June 30, our board of directors approved a budget for 2016-17 that is dramatically smaller and means significant change. But we are moving ahead in 2016-17 with many of our signature offerings, such as Book Voyagers, Poetry Out Loud, and the STEPS-CT program. We will continue to enhance our information-packed online resources, ConnecticutHistory.org, and the Connecticut Center for the Book (ctcenterforthebook.org). We stand ready to connect you with scholars and other humanities experts who are part of a new, statewide directory that will be available soon. You can continue to enjoy our lively e-newsletter that calls attention to events across the state. And you can be on the lookout as we implement a new Community Conversations series.
In the meantime, we are communicating with state officials and working hard to see the Connecticut Humanities Fund restored for FY 2017-18. At that point, we hope to again offer a full array of grants to fund programs and exhibitions staged by a local organization you may represent, serve as a volunteer, or enjoy as a participant.
For those of you who have written the governor or your state lawmakers on our behalf – THANK YOU! – and please continue to make your views known during the year ahead. We appreciate your ongoing support for the humanities and the many ways they enrich our lives.
Douglas G. Fisher
What you can do to help today:
1) Subscribe to Connecticut Humanities’ e-Newsletter: Stay up to date with the latest developments on what’s happening at Connecticut Humanities, including advocacy updates about our state funding situation, and learn how you can help us moving forward.
2) Follow Connecticut Humanities on facebook and on twitter and help us by liking, sharing, and retweeting our posts.
3) Make a donation: generous contributions from individual donors such as you help us provide programs like Book Voyagers, StEPs-CT, ConnecticutHistory.org, Poetry Out Loud and so much more that make Connecticut a special place.