National Endowment for the Humanities to Spend $300,000 on ‘Frankenfest’ in Indianapolis
This October the federally-funded National Endowment for the Humanities will spend $300,000 to host an event called ‘Frankenfest’ at the Indiana Medical History Museum, Indianapolis.
‘Frankenfest’ will celebrate the glories of Mary Shelley’s nineteenth century Gothic novel Frankenstein with screenings of the Netflix series Stranger Things, an all-day read-a-thon, and a beer garden (tax dollars will not go towards the beer), among other amenities.
And, of course, the first 100 people to attend also get a free Frankenstein-themed beer mug.
While the editors of this newspaper love Frankenstein, and think it’s one of the most thought-provoking novels one can read, we do have reservations about federal tax dollars being spent on such an oddly specific event—especially given the dire economic conditions in America, and the region.
This should be a time for trimming the fat and tightening the belt, not stocking the larder with Frankenstein beer mugs—collectable as they may be.
And more-importantly, ‘Frankenfest’ is not a simple one-off, it is part of a pattern of bizarre spending from the National Endowment for the Humanities. For example, the Endowment recently splurged $300,000 on an event where people can talk about how wonderful water is in Michigan, and a further grant of $30,000 was provided to facilitate a discussion regarding the “Oral Histories of Idaho’s LGBTQ community.”
At this rate, the the NEH may soon catch up with the National Endowment for the Arts for the prize of being America’s most useless government program.