Like many of you, I woke up to today’s news that the White House released its proposed budget to Congress officially recommending the full termination of funding of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting(CPB), along with deep cuts to afterschool funding and State Department cultural exchange programs. As one of the arts organizations that receives funding from the NEA – and specifically one of only four youth orchestras in America to receive NEA funding, it is our responsibility to speak up and help them as they have helped us.
As the Action Arts Fund has expressed, eliminating the NEA would be a devastating blow to the arts in America. For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. Territories. The NEA is also an economic powerhouse, generating more than $600 million annually in additional matching funds and helping to shape a $730 billion arts and culture industry that represents 4.2% of the nation’s GDP and supports 4.8 million jobs.
As NEA Chair Jane Chu said, "the President's budget request is a first step in a very long budget process…." The federal appropriations process does not end here, and there is bipartisan support for the NEA. But we must now begin a concerted grassroots effort to convince Congress to #SaveTheNEA.
Here are the actions you can take right now:
Aside from contacting your representatives, I hope you will also help support your favorite charities with your donations of your time and/or financial resources.
Thank you for your efforts! Together we can make a difference.