October is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)—a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of:
FOCUSING on the arts at local, state, and national levels;
ENCOURAGING individuals and organizations to participate in the arts;
ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and
RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.
Hosting an event is an easy way to celebrate NAHM in your community, like a Creative Conversation, an open house or special performance at a local arts venue, or a Community Vision Forum. Check out our resources page for event ideas and tools.
We have tools to help you promote your event! Use our National ArtsMeet Calendar to promote your event and find others happening near you. (Don’t forget, you can use this calendar year round!)
We hosted the first ever National Creative Conversation on Facebook on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 9-10 p.m. ET. Creative Conversations have been a mechanism for communities to talk about the arts and culture in their area. It was a chance for everyone to gather together as a national community to share what is happening on the ground! You can view the posts, comments and prompts by clicking the link.
President Obama has officially proclaimed October 2016 as National Arts and Humanities Month. In this year's proclamation, he wrote, "In seeking to break down barriers and challenge our assumptions, we must continue promoting and prioritizing the arts and humanities, especially for our young people. In many ways, the arts and humanities reflect our national soul. They are central to who we are as Americans—as dreamers and storytellers, creators and visionaries. By investing in the arts, we can chart a course for the future in which the threads of our common humanity are bound together with creative empathy and openness."
You can secure a proclamation from your elected officials to make National Arts & Humanities Month an official annual commemoration of the arts in your city or town. Use our sample proclamation and customize to your community.
Join the Celebration!
#ShowYourArt was a social media campaign designed to engage arts advocates on local, state, and national levels, and to bring awareness of National Arts and Humanities Month to the public. Individuals and organizations were encouraged to share images on Instagram (be sure to tag @americans4arts and use #showyourart). We reposted some of our favorites throughout the month.
This year, the campaign featured a unique theme every day in October, such as “dance,” “art in your town,” “tattoos,” and many more. See our theme graphic here. Watch for next year's prompts! Have ideas? Share them with staff by clicking on the staff liaison link.
Another fun way we celebrated was Creative Sprint. Joining forces Creative Sprint featured a special prompt just for National Arts and Humanities Month on October 17.
Learn more about CreativeSprint!
Connect with us and with the celebration on social media!
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