Advocacy Alert from the National Endowment for the Arts:
On Wednesday, the U.S. House began consideration of the bill that funds the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The last time the House passed an Interior-Environment spending bill was in 2009!
Last night, the House Rules Committee met and accepted 131 amendments to be offered on the House floor this week. Although there are no amendments targeting the NEA, there are several relating to historic preservation and a couple about programs of the Smithsonian Institution.
Take two minutes now to share your support for the bill’s increased funding of the NEA and ask that it be maintained in a final bill. The House bill funds the NEA at nearly $150 million, an almost $2 million increase for FY2017, meeting the President’s request. The House proposal also contains several other positive areas of support!
- For the first time, it includes support for STEAM and the value of integrating arts education into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to foster creativity, innovation, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.
- In addition, the Healing Arts Partnership work at the NEA with the Walter Reed National Military Center is specifically highlighted, including support for NEA’s participation in the National Initiative on Arts and the Military led by Americans for the Arts in cooperation with multiple national arts, health and veterans’ service organizations, the private sector, the military, and other government agencies.
- The House proposal also notes the longstanding, collaborative relationship between the NEA and State Arts Agencies in support of the arts in local communities.
- It also includes support for the display of art in government buildings, including postal facilities.
- Unlike last year, there is no prohibition of funding for NEA’s Our Town program, which supports creative placemaking projects all across the country. Americans for the Arts advocated against this funding restriction on this core grant program.
Congress continues to remain very divided over spending priorities. Final funding decisions might not be known until December, or even March! This legislation is likely to be considered over several days this week, with a potential negotiation with Senate appropriators possible. However, these bills are important markers for those discussions. The House bill is also critical because of the funding increase it would provide. This same increase is not in the Senate proposal. Take two minutes now to weigh in and support the proposed House funding for the NEA!
Thank you for your support of the arts and for being an arts advocate. Want to do more? Help us continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today – it’s free and easy to join.