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NEA Faces Threat of $15 Million in Budget Cuts For This Year

  • March 29, 2017 15:40

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Former President Barack Obama presents the National Medal of Arts to Jack Whitten in a White House ceremony on September 22, 2016. A citation read during the ceremony said, “As an abstract artist, he uses ‘casting,’ acrylic paints, and compounds to create new surfaces and textures, challenging our perceptions of shape and color. His powerful works of art put the American story in a new light.” Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group
Thomas Hart Benton's colorful six-by-ten foot mural from 1975 was commissioned by Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, with support from the NEA. "The Sources of Country Music" portrays 17 nearly life-sized figures and illustrates the various cultural influences on country music, including a train, a steamboat, a black banjo player, country fiddlers and dulcimer players, hymn singers and square dancers. The painting memorializes entertainer Tex Ritter as the singing cowboy on the
Image provided by The Country Music Foundation

The Trump Administration released its budget plan for FY 2018 on March 16 with a proposal for eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other agencies that serve the American people. On Monday, a further slashing was proposed to both the NEA and NEH, aimed at this year's budget which has been in place since October 2016.

In response to the new threat to NEA funding, Americans for the Arts made this statement to supporters with a call to action:

[The Trump] Administration sent a new, detailed proposal outlining $18 billion in cuts in the current budget year - FY 2017. The Administration calls for a $15 million cut to the NEA and an equal, proposed cut of $15 million to the National Endowment for the Humanities. This proposal, if approved, would reduce their respective budgets from $148 million to $133 million for FY 2017. The last time the NEA budget was this low was over a decade ago!

You may recall that back in December, the incoming Trump Administration asked the GOP leadership to push the unfinished FY 2017 appropirations bill into the following year so they might weigh-in on it. A Continuing Resolution (CR) was put into place that provided the equivalent of $148 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. Yesterday's proposed $15 million cut is the Administration "weighing-in" on the appropriations process.

Fortunately, some GOP members of Congress are now reflecting that it is a bit too late for these kinds of cuts to take place. President Trump is proposing significant cuts to agencies nearly half-way through the fiscal year, which started on October 1.

Take two minutes now to keep the pressure up. Let your elected representatives know where you stand on this proposed funding cut. Tell them to oppose Trump’s destructive budget proposals—for both FY2017 and FY2018.

Use this easy link to reach your members of Congress now.


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