KILL JOBS, AND LEAVE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR YOUNG SUFFERING A SLOW DEATH
We are all having to make tough choices, but the reality is that the entire National Endowment for the Arts -- all of the federally funded arts that reach communities in every state of our country, from sea to shining sea -- receives less funding than your average three- star general running a smallish project team in a medium-sized office in Washington. When the NEA was in its heyday in the early nineties, its budget was the same as what it cost to build a single Minuteman II missile.
So--it is NOT about money. The NEA is a drop in the bucket. It's about priorities. And rethinking what we need in order to be a country worth fighting for.
Please take two minutes and send a message to your elected officials today in support of public funding for the arts.
The House Appropriations Committee has passed an Interior Appropriations bill that could lead to a cut of $20 million to the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The bill would cut the NEA's budget from its current $155 million to $135 million, This would be the deepest cut since 1995, when the NEA's budget was $170 million. (See below for details.)
The argument we always hear is that the government should not be in the arts and culture business and that the private sector will take care of it just fine. The reality is that the NEA has consistently supported us in good and bad times, our partner programs, local communities, schools, and even other funders. We would not be here without them.
* The arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and is willing to do our part; however, this budget proposal represents a disproportionate cut. * The staff of the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus have told us that this proposed cut would reduce the number of NEA grants by up to 733 grants, or 30 percent. It would also curtail the scope of the agency's outreach by reducing the total number of Americans served by about 27.3 million (28 percent), and the number of youth by 2.7 million (27 percent). * NEA dollars are a critical lifeline in helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling. On average, every $1 that the NEA gives in grants generates $7 in investment from sources outside of the federal government. * The NEA budget is a miniscule part (only about 0.5 percent) of the larger Interior bill, which also funds other agencies including the Interior Department, National Wildfire Service and provisions of the Environmental Protection Act. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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