As expected, the White House released details of the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget, including elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). A small amount of funding is proposed for “expenses to carry out their closure.”
In addition, $27 million in assistance for arts education through the U.S. Department of Education, and $140 million in student support and academic enrichment grants (new grants authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act) are eliminated.
While Congress supported restoring $2 million to each of the cultural agencies for the FY2017 budget in April, this FY2018 budget presents a new battle. The sequester is back, meaning automatic spending cuts, and the federal debt ceiling was reached back in March. These pressures set the scene for a heated budget debate this summer. Hearings on the cultural agencies have not yet been scheduled, but if Congress cannot reach agreement on a FY2018 budget (or Continuing Resolution) by September 30, the threat of a government shutdown becomes a real possibility.
What YOU can do:
Summer is upon us, and we cannot afford to slack off.
- -Please reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to continue to support the NEA at $155 million.
- -Emails, letters, and phone calls are encouraged (info here). Please use more than 1 form of communication.
- -Don’t forget to send the #SAVEtheNEA message via social media.
- -Keep checking ArtPride’s #SavetheNEA online tool kit for other ways to support this effort. There you will find a sample curtain speech and program ad/stuffer that shines a light on how the NEA supports communities in NJ.
- -Keep an eye on town hall meetings this summer, especially over Congress’ July 4th break, and bring up restored funding for the cultural agencies when you attend.
These are just some ideas. Let us know other ways YOU plan to #SAVEtheNEA.