National Endowments for the Arts, Humanities Could Face Elimination Under Trump

NEA Chairman Jane Chu quote
NEA Chairman Jane Chu quote
(NEA Art Works blog)
  • President Obama congratulates dancer/choreographer Bill T.  Jones after presenting Jones with the 2013 National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony.  Photo by NEA Staff

    President Obama congratulates dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones after presenting Jones with the 2013 National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony. Photo by NEA Staff

    NEA Art Works blog

The Hill first reported that staff from the Trump transition team have been briefing White House career staff ahead of the inauguration about plans to slash government spending -- from major cuts for several departments to all out eliminations. 

Budget cuts and program deletions are said to be in line for the departments of Energy, Commerce, Transportation, Justice and State. And The Hill reports:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

As the Washington Post points out, cutting those cultural programs, which have been threatened under previous Republican administrations, would be a symbolic gesture, since now they only account for 0.02 percent of federal spending: "Put another way, if you make $50,000 a year, spending the equivalent of what the government spends on these three programs would be like spending less than $10."

Chicago Tribune reports on the NEA's relevance:

Despite the culture war clashes about art that some considered obscene more than a generation ago, the NEA has evolved into an organization that operates and has impact in every state, that has served returning veterans, bolstered state arts agencies, and worked with all manner of groups and state and federal partners to build stronger and more resilient communities across the country.

View this YouTube video about the NEA's impact on American culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTefGaIYDbc

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Gustav Klimt, "The Arts, Paradise Choir, and The Embrace (detail of Beethoven Frieze)," 1902.  Casein paint, chalk, graphite, applied plaster, and various appliqué materials, 84.7 x 189.4 in.  (215 x 481 cm).  Oesterreichische Galerie im Belvedere, Vienna, Austria © Belvedere, Vienna

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