October is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)—a collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of:
FOCUSING on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels;
ENCOURAGING individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts;
ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and
RAISING public awareness about the positive impact of the arts and humanities in our communities and lives.
The arts are a national asset and should be available everywhere to everyone—and while a majority of the public believes this based on 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 crucial role of the arts and humanities in promoting individual wellbeing, addressing trauma, connecting cultures, highlighting inequities, and making our communities healthier and stronger.
Whether you’ve participated before or want to get involved for the first time, we have lots of ideas to help you celebrate. Here are some easy ways to promote National Arts & Humanities Month in your community this October—and check our Resources page for even more ideas.
National Arts & Humanities Month is an excellent opportunity to be more inclusive across your community and engage organizations and populations you may not interact with on a regular basis. For tips on how to thoughtfully and intentionally engage across cultures, download and use this guide to equitable engagement (PDF download).
- Check out our 31-day Instagram challenge! See our 2022 daily themes and what was posted all month long on #ShowYourArt2022.
- Ask for a local government proclamation. Your mayor, city council, even your governor can officially declare National Arts & Humanities Month—and our sample proclamation (Word document download) will make it easy. Read our one-page How-to Guide (PDF download) for help making the ask to your local government.
- Engage with the “Championing the Creative Spirit” poster competition! Visit the poster competition page to see the winners and a complete gallery of entries.
- Get the word out to the media, even if you’ve never spoken to the press before! Read our tips on working with the media (PDF download) to garner attention for virtual events in your community. Download our press release template (Word document download) and customize it for where you live. Or, get advice on how to write an op-ed or letter to the editor (PDF download) for your local paper.
- Share information about NAHM on social media and in your organizational newsletters. Sample language and links can be found in this Communications Toolkit (Word document download).
- Watch a recording of Americans for the Arts’ October Member Briefing, which took place October 11, 2023 with a focus on National Arts & Humanities Month. This free virtual briefing featured an interview with 2022 NAHM ambassador India Carney, as well as a glimpse into what our members are doing to honor the arts and humanities in their community this fall.
New in 2022: The National Arts and Humanities Month logo and color palette have been refreshed and expanded! More logo layouts and color options allow for added flexibility in promoting your celebrations and activities. Visit the NAHM Resources page to download files.
Tune in: Hear more about National Arts & Humanities Month and how you can celebrate culture all month long on The Art Box podcast! Thank you to Steve Dudrow, Virgin Valley Artists’ Association, and the Mesquite (NV) Fine Arts Center for having us on the pod to talk all things NAHM.
Meet India Carney, 2022 National Arts & Humanities Month Ambassador
India Carney is an American singer, songwriter, vocal arranger, vocal coach, and actress. A native of Brooklyn, New York, and graduate of LaGuardia Arts High (The "FAME") School, India finished her classical music training at UCLA. Before graduating college, India made her national television debut on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning series “The Voice – Season Eight.” She wowed audiences and four highly acclaimed celebrity judges as the Top 5 Artist with her passionate vocal performances. This New York City native toured with award-winning pop artist Katy Perry and has sung for Grammy-award winning artists including Dua Lipa, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Meghan Trainor, H.E.R., and Christina Aguilera. She has performed at the VMAs, Grammy Awards, BET Awards, “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and Coachella. As a vocal coach, she worked with the singers of “American Idol – Season 4” (2021), “Alter Ego – Season 1” (2021), and “I Can See Your Voice – Season 3” (2023). You can hear India's voice on the American Express 2020 Holiday campaign “Small Lang Syne” and featured on the new video game “Forspoken” (2022).
Her original music fuses her pop, folk, classical, R&B, a cappella, jazz, and musical theater influences. In 2019, India signed to UK publishing company Phrased Differently to start the next chapter in her music career and is currently signed with Randy Jackson’s management company, 1963 Entertainment. Her debut single “Human,” a personal account on equality, representation, and empathy, released last May and her upcoming single “God Forbid” releases this fall.
Still have questions? Get answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about National Arts & Humanities Month.
Have ideas? Share them with our staff by clicking on the staff liaison link.