Get ready for more belt-tightening. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee proposed a $132 million allocation to the National Endowment for the Arts in the upcoming fiscal year — $14 million below the current funding level, and $22 million less than the amount contained in President Obama’s budget.
The National Endowment for the Arts funds non-profit arts efforts in all 50 states, including programs designed to expose children to visual arts, music, drama, and dance. Government support for the NEA is already substantially lower than it was two decades ago. Taking inflation into account, federal investment in the arts has been cut by half over the last twenty years.
“Today’s proposed cuts are contrary to all evidence of the vital role that arts funding plays in our economy,” said Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition in a press release. “All data shows that investing in the arts creates jobs, generates tax revenue, improves educational outcomes for our kids, and enriches our culture. It is inconceivable that our national leaders are choosing to ignore clear evidence that a small investment in the arts pays large dividends to our country.”
The Creative Coalition will call upon its Arts Corps, a volunteer program that marshals leadership from the arts and entertainment arenas to help save arts funding in the public school systems, to lead grassroots efforts to encourage arts funding support.