Americans Are Encouraged to Explore the Arts in Their Communities

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A grid of images showing artworks and cultural experiences plus the National Arts & Humanities Month logo

Americans for the Arts today announced its October celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. The arts and humanities have played a critically important role during the COVID-19 pandemic and in amplifying the need for racial equity across the country. National Arts and Humanities Month is the time for communities to come together in unified celebration of the power of the arts to make a difference and change our lives for the better.

Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, commented, “The arts allow us to explore ideas, express emotions, feel more connected to our communities, better appreciate cultures from around the world, and, as many of us experienced during the pandemic, the arts raise morale and provide comfort during dark times. I hope that everyone will take part in National Arts and Humanities Month to celebrate and recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities.”

This year, Americans for the Arts is pleased to collaborate with Alora Young, the 2021 Youth Poet Laureate for the Southern United States, as its first-time ambassador for National Arts and Humanities Month. Young will use her platform throughout the month to share her love of the arts and humanities with the public as we celebrate the power of culture in communities across the nation.

Americans for the Arts’ “Show Your Art” social media campaign is designed to engage the public in celebrating the power and diversity of the arts in our lives. #ShowYourArt2021 features 31 unique themes for each day to inspire individuals and organizations to express themselves and share images on Instagram with the hashtag. Americans for the Arts encourages participants to challenge themselves as they think about the daily themes and be as inclusive of the entire community as possible—to consider artists and art they love that may be from traditionally underrepresented communities. Select images will be shared on Americans for the Arts’ Instagram throughout the month.

Americans for the Arts also encourages arts advocates to contact their senators to advocate for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The U.S. House passed $201 million in funding for the NEA in Fiscal Year 2022—$33.5M more than last year and the largest budget increase in NEA history. Now it’s up to the Senate to match it, and with the help of an advocacy toolkit, Americans for the Arts calls on arts advocates to spread the word in honor of National Arts and Humanities Month.

For the first time since 2016, National Arts and Humanities Month has received official recognition from the White House. In the proclamation, President Joe Biden said, “This October, as we celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month, let us turn to the arts and humanities as a way to help America heal and grow. Let us build back better by ensuring that our cultural workers and creators are back at work and thriving. Let us ensure that everyone in America—regardless of race, geography, ability, and socioeconomic status—has equal and unrestricted access to the arts and humanities, and the opportunities they afford.”

National Arts and Humanities Month was launched by Americans for the Arts 35 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the NEA. The celebration was recast and reestablished in 1993 by Americans for the Arts and national arts and humanities partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of focusing on equitable access to the arts and humanities 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 role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 60 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at