National Arts and Humanities Month

Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month

National Arts & Humanities Month

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. Each year since 1993, NAHM has helped give millions of Americans the opportunity to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives and has encouraged them to begin a lifelong habit of active participation.


National Arts and Humanities Month’s four primary goals are to:

  • create a national, state and local focus on the arts and humanities through the media;
  • encourage the active participation of individuals, as well as arts, humanities and other interested organizations nationwide;
  • provide an opportunity for federal, state and local business, government and civic leaders to declare their support for the arts and humanities; and
  • establish a highly visible vehicle for raising public awareness about the arts and humanities.

What You Can Do

In towns and communities across America, arts organizations are planning and developing events, celebrations and innovative programming to highlight National Arts and Humanities Month. Throughout the month of October, special events will capture the spirit that the arts and humanities bring to everyday life. In particular, cultural organizations are being asked to do the following:

  • Participate in the month-long celebration with an already-scheduled activity or a new event, large or small, that will be free and open to the public. Events could include a free performance, lecture or reading; a behind-the-scenes tour, a workshop, a concert or a festival. An open house is a great way to invite the community to join with your organization in celebrating the month.
  • Obtain a proclamation from your elected officials. Use the Atlanta Arts Accords as a template for getting your elected leaders to declare their support and appreciation for the arts and humanities. The Atlanta Arts Accords were signed by representatives of the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Congressional Arts Caucus. Invite representatives from each of these groups and other civic leaders to sign a similar set of accords or issue a proclamation. The Pittsburgh Arts Accords, a similar document signed by business and foundation executives, can be used to encourage the support of your state’s private sector representatives.
  • Submit articles and opinion editorials to newspapers and magazines about the value of the arts and humanities.

Five More Ways to Participate

  1. Launch a mentor program. Identify businesses to sponsor arts and cultural organizations for membership in local convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs).
  2. Create NAHM giveaways and information. Produce materials (cultural calendars, brochures, buttons, etc.) in partnership with businesses and place them in visitor centers, CVBs, hotels, airports, restaurants and convention centers during the month.
  3. Dedicate cultural events for NAHM. Identify or include already-scheduled events for October as part of your celebration of the month.
  4. Create an arts and humanities month banner for your website and ask others to include it on their sites.
  5. Reach out to the media. Conduct editorial board meetings, write op-eds, and involve media representatives in symposia or events during the month.