Standing Up for the NEA

Last week the Trump administration released the first official documents draft of their plan to fund the federal government for the coming fiscal year, The Trump proposal includes massive budget cuts. The Administration’s proposal calls for termination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the first American President in history to propose zeroing out all funding for the nation’s federal cultural agencies.

As Robert L. Lynch CEO from Americans for the Arts pointed out that despite the President’s State of Union speech proclaiming ‘Americans fill the world with art and music,’ there seems to be a disconnect on the need to invest in our nation’s future support of the arts and arts education.

This proposal is a blueprint and will be considered by Congress, but like all proposals, Congress will be considering their own budget priorities as well.

In fact, President Trump himself encouraged Congress to make some funding decisions independent of the executive branch—he stated as much last year in response to questions about arts funding. He said, “The Congress, as representatives of the people, make the determination as to what the spending priorities ought to be.”

With the will of an elected body, anything’s possible. However, we know that legislative work on the FY2019 budget will continue until at least October 2018. Throughout this budgeting process, there are many points where NCCA, with creative aging advocates and partners from across the country, will be united in making sure Congress understands the impact of the arts in their states and districts.