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. From editors to historians to teachers to novelists, our Members have benefited from the NEA and NEH in a variety of meaningful ways. We present here a handful of their stories.

Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States

The 50 original Favorite Poem Project videos feature a construction worker reading Walt Whitman, a Cambodian-American high school student reading Langston Hughes, and a Jamaican immigrant reading Sylvia Plath: Americans outside of any professional world of poetry paying eloquent tribute to poems they love. Non-elitist, but with high artistic stanzas, the FPP has been called the most significant public art project, ever. It was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, thanks to a visionary young administrator named Cliff Becker.