Frequently Asked Questions - National Arts And Humanities Month

National Arts & Humanities Month is a collective celebration of culture in America. Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, it has become the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation, when people across the United States join together to recognize the positive impact of the arts and culture on their communities and their lives.

The arts and humanities play a crucial role in promoting individual wellbeing, addressing trauma, and highlighting inequities. They also connect people across cultures, allow us to express ourselves and our values, and make our communities healthier and stronger. The arts are a national asset and should be available everywhere to everyone—and while a majority of the public believes this based on our public opinion polling and other research, it’s often not their default way of thinking about the arts. National Arts & Humanities Month is an opportunity for everyone to help change public perception and promote the positive impact the arts bring to people, communities, and schools in all areas of the country.

Every individual can celebrate National Arts & Humanities Month because it is an opportunity to celebrate your creative spirit and support arts and culture in your community. Lifting up the arts and humanities is especially important as artists, organizations, and venues continue to rebuild from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the NAHM Resources page for ways to engage and ideas for celebrating.

New in 2022, the National Arts & Humanities Month logo has been refreshed and the color palette expanded to improve visibility and creativity in promoting NAHM celebrations. A variety of versions are available to download on the NAHM Resources page and may be used freely by anyone to promote NAHM activities.

Americans for the Arts is a national organization dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for everyone to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. In our role as part of one network connected to many other networks that support the arts and artists, we are well positioned to engage the entirety of the arts ecosystem through National Arts & Humanities Month, keeping the arts at the center and helping to build a widely shared understanding of the role of the arts and culture in our society. 

Because we believe that community is where the arts make a difference, Americans for the Arts focuses on providing ideas, tools, and resources for individuals and organizations to celebrate National Arts & Humanities where they live, such as encouraging local government proclamations and tips for promoting NAHM to local media outlets. Americans for the Arts runs the annual Show Your Art Instagram challenge, providing a platform to showcase arts and culture in communities following unique themes every day in October. We also share your photos and videos on our Instagram channel using the hashtags #NAHM and #ShowYourArt2022. 

In 2022, Americans for the Arts is seeking original poster designs to represent National Arts & Humanities Month and is sponsoring a design competition open to artists ages 18+ who are residents of the U.S. and its territories. Three winning designs will be awarded a cash prize, and one winning design will be used to represent NAHM throughout the month of October. Entries are welcome between Aug. 15 and Sept. 6, 2022, and a public voting period to determine the winners will occur Sept. 15-30, 2022. Learn more about the competition and enter here.

National Arts & Humanities Month grew out of National Arts Week, which the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts started in 1985. It became a month-long celebration in 1993.

Yes! The White HouseUnited States Conference of Mayors and the National Lieutenant Governors Association, along with many states and communities throughout the country, often issue celebratory proclamations. You can ask your local leaders to declare October as National Arts & Humanities Month using our sample proclamation and how-to guide on the NAHM Resources page.

National Arts & Humanities Month is a free national event! Americans for the Arts encourages organizations to offer discounted or free cultural events in their communities—when they can be held safely and in accordance with local public health guidelines—in an effort to encourage maximum participation. However, there are often marketing and logistical costs involved in planning these activities.

Currently Americans for the Arts cannot provide funding support for other organizations’ National Arts & Humanities Month activities. We encourage you to contact your Local Arts Agency, State Arts Agency, or Community Foundation for funding opportunities.