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The NEH Fosters Local Tourism Economies

The National Endowment for the Humanities boosts local tourism in cities and towns across the United States. NEH support helps small and midsize institutions create intellectually-engaging, high-quality exhibitions and public programming, turning them into attractive destinations for tourists in their region. Over time and with continued NEH funding, many of these organizations have grown from local institutions to world-class destinations, bringing in visitors from across the nation and world.

NEH helps regional organizations create the high-quality exhibitions and programs that bring in visitors from across the state and region. NEH funding ensures that small, midsize, and rural organizations can attract visitors. Many NEH-funded institutions have annual visitation numbers that far exceed the local population and bring in tourists from around the world. For example, the Dyess Historic Site in Dyess, Arkansas has attracted visitors from every state and 48 foreign countries, while the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon is the region's top-rated attraction on Tripadvisor.

Repeated NEH support over many years has helped turn regional institutions into world-class tourist destinations. Cumulatively, NEH funding for preservation, research, and exhibition development grants has helped organizations like Plimoth Plantation, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, and the National Civil Rights Museum become tourist destinations in their own right.

NEH funding helps organizations build the capacity to produce strong exhibitions and attract tourists on their own. Traveling exhibitions programs like NEH on the Road also provide professional development opportunities for museum, library, and historical society staff, helping them develop stronger exhibitions and humanities programming in the future. By funding preservation on large and small scales, the NEH ensures that organizations have the collections necessary to create accurate, engaging exhibitions.

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