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Arts Funding In Trouble Again!

Once again, the arts are up against a fight to prove their worth in society. Luckily, it’s a situation well-worn and therefore well-anticipated. Arts advocates are prepared with a statement and a call to action. A little message from Americans for the Arts!

Once again, the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is facing cuts. This morning, a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee began the funding cycle for Fiscal Year 2012 by approving legislation to fund the NEA at $135.2 million, which is a reduction of $20 million from the current year. If enacted, it would be the deepest cut to the NEA in 16 years. Please take two minutes to send a customizable message to your member of Congress calling on them to reject these funding cuts.
This budget proposal is disappointing, represents a disproportionate cut, and appears counter-productive to the stated objectives of growing American jobs.
This proposed cut to the NEA is 13 percent below the current funding level, while overall funding in the bill, which includes agencies like the EPA, Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service, is reduced by only 7 percent. As Americans for the Arts stated during the contentious FY 2011 budget consideration earlier this year, the arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and it is willing to do its part.
The arts sector has proven to be resilient as a growth industry and a strong contributor to the economy. NEA dollars are a critical lifeline in helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling. This drastic reduction does not take into account the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries.
It is expected that the House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation next week, and the full House of Representatives may consider it before the August recess. A message from you now registering your concerns with your member of Congress would be well-timed to arrive prior to these next steps in the appropriations process.

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