Celebrate! It's National Arts and Humanities Month

October is the time to explore your cultural history with National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM). Read on to learn more about the history of this annual celebration and how you can get involved.

National Arts & Humanities Month

In 1993, Americans for the Arts launched the first National Arts and Humanities Month. Celebrated in October every year since, NAHM offers Americans all over the country the chance to reconnect with their cultural heritage and artistic communities.

According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, NAHM has four main goals:

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

Street Artist

How to Get Involved

Looking for an event in your area? Don't miss this interactive map where you can search for activities by state and even add your own events.

If you're looking for ways to promote arts awareness on your own, try one of these ideas from Americans for the Arts:

  • Write a short public service announcement to run on the radio each day of the month.
  • Make a list of area artists who are performing in October and distribute it to local libraries and schools.
  • Host an art festival in the park and invite local artists to participate.
  • Invite local musicians to perform free lunchtime concerts in your town's public square.
  • Write an op-ed on the value of arts education to your community.
  • Post a video on YouTube or Vimeo about what the arts mean to you - and share it!
  • Students: Invite your classmates to exhibit their art at your school or a local community center.
  • Host an open house at your local arts agency to explain what the arts have to offer your community.
  • Schedule a performance at a local hospital, senior center or nursing home.
  • Develop a walking tour of local cultural organizations.

Not inspired yet? Check out the list of 101 suggested activities.

College of Arts and Sciences


Of course, one of the most important ways to promote arts and culture is through arts education. The STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) may be hot right now, but it's important not to forget the vital role that the arts and humanities play in our society.

Students, if you're passionate about arts, literature, the classics, history or any of the other exciting subjects in the humanities, don't hesitate to get that degree. It can enrich your life and help your career. Not convinced? Check out tomorrow's post reminding you of ten great reasons to pursue the liberal arts.

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