In response to the current budget proposal to completely defund the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, PEN America asked Members to share their experiences with the NEA or NEH. Some Members cite the NEA as vital to their work—like Norman Rush, whose 1986 NEA fellowship was “instrumental” to the completion of his first novel. Other Members, like the writer Amy Bernstein, tell of Endowment-supported conferences, productions, and programs that have impacted their lives. Professor Emerita Linda Hamalian received two NEH grants that led to two books, while Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project was supported by the NEA.

From editors to historians to teachers to novelists, our Members have benefited from the NEA and NEH in a variety of meaningful ways, citing experiences, as Bernstein wrote, that are “more than I can count.” We present here a handful of their stories.

Learn more about what the NEA and NEH do and then visit our guide to find out what you can do to help save these Endowments.