By now, you may have read that the President’s budget may include elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. ArtPride New Jersey is aware of the situation, and we are in the process of receiving confirmations and updates from our national partners, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and the National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).
In the meantime, while this is bad news, it is important to keep calm, be strategic, and be prepared to act when action will have maximum impact.
National Endowment for the Arts Funding in New Jersey
- Since 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts has provided close to $2 million in support to individual arts organizations and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts ($1,742,100)
- NJSCA receives $872,100 through the NEA’s State Partnership Agreement
- A portion of this funds the administration of the NJSCA, and the balance is awarded in grants from the NJSCA to arts organizations throughout the state
- By law, 40% of all NEA funding must go to the states. The amount is determined by population and upon review of their state grant application, renewed every 3 years.
- NEA is the only arts funder in America, public or private, that supports the arts in 50 states, DC and the US territories.
- NEA funding goes deep into communities around New Jersey, often serving outreach programs for people with special needs that would otherwise be unaffordable (see examples below).
- The NEA’s budget is $148 million—just 0.004 percent of the federal budget and 47 cents per capita (the current cost of a first class USPS stamp—and that’s about to go up).
- NEA grants provide a significant return on investment of federal dollars with $1 of NEA direct funding leveraging up to $9 in private and other public funds, resulting in $500 million in matching support in 2016.
Sample direct grants – Spring and Fall, 2016
$10,000 – People & Stories in Lawrenceville for a series of writing workshops offered in English and Spanish that take place in an outpatient treatment center and at a minimum-security prison.
$40,000 – Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn for the Theater for Everyone Project that serves the needs of children with autism and other social and cognitive disabilities.
$40,000 – Rutgers University, New Brunswick for STEM to STEAM: Re-Making 21st Century Learning, a professional development project for high school teachers.
$15,000 – Music for All Seasons in Scotch Plains for music programs for children and families living in shelters who are victims of domestic violence.
$50,000 – PlanSmart NJ to support the Partnership for Better Creative Peacemaking and build a statewide community of creative placemaking practitioners.
$100,000 – Newark Arts Council to support the Newark Arts in Education Roundtable.
$10,000 – Matheny School and Hospital in Peapack to support Full Circle, a multidisciplinary project that showcase art created by individuals with disabilities in a gallery exhibit and live multimedia stage show of dramatic, written, filmed and choreographed pieces.
Sample Indirect grants through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts – part of total General Operating Support and Special Project funding to:
Symphony in C, Camden (1st Congressional District)
Appel Farm, Elmer (2nd Congressional District)
Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown (3rd Congressional District)
Two River Theatre Company, Red Bank (4th Congressional District)
Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton (5th Congressional District)
George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick (6th Congressional District)
Growing Stage, Netcong (7th Congressional District)
Arts Horizons, Englewood (9th Congressional District)
New Jersey Ballet, Livingston (10th Congressional District)
Pushcart Players, Verona (11th Congressional District)
Young Audiences of NJ & Eastern PA, Princeton (12th Congressional District)
NEA Arts Investment Fact Sheet – February 2017
This fact sheet from the National Association of State Arts Agencies outlines the NEA’s national impact and breaks down the impact on New Jersey state in particular.
The Federal Budget Process – A Timeline
- The federal government operates on continuing resolutions. NEA funding is included in the current CR that is in effect through April 2017. We need to keep a watchful eye on continuation of federal funding for the arts through the entire fiscal year ending September 30, 2017.
- The President will likely introduce a FY2018 budget around February 28.
- The U.S. House of Representatives and specifically the House Appropriations Subcommittees will set initial FY 2018 funding levels for every federal agency in the Spring (March–May) of this year. Subcommittees and conference committees continue their budget work through the summer with hope of a final conference committee agreement in time for the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30.ince 2016, close to $2 million in support to individual arts organizations and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts ($1,742,100)
Rebuttals to Inaccurate Arguments Against the National Endowment for the Arts
Published by Americans for the Arts, Thursday, January 26, 2017The Heritage Foundation formulated a number of arguments against the NEA decades ago. These arguments are listed below with corresponding rebuttals.
|Federal investment in the arts is negligible; they’ll never miss it.||NEA is the single largest national funder of nonprofit arts in the U.S.|
|Federal investment in the arts discourages charitable giving.||NEA grants help leverage a 9 to 1 match in private charitable gifts and other state and local public funding.|
|Federal government must reduce its budget and cannot afford the luxury of the arts.||The Federal government cannot afford to NOT support the arts. With only a $148 million annual appropriations, the NEA investments in the arts helps contribute to a $704 billion economic arts and culture economic industry, contributing 4.2 percent of the annual GDP and supporting 4.7 million jobs that yields a $24 billion trade surplus for the country.|
|Federal funding is welfare for cultural elitists.||Forty percent of NEA-supported activities take place in high-poverty neighborhood.|
|Federal funding of the arts only benefits the major arts institutions in large cities.||NEA funding reaches small, rural towns through its “Our Town” grants and specifically helps our wounded soldiers and veterans with effective arts therapy.|
|Federal government shouldn’t pick winners and losers. It lowers the quality of American art.||Government bureaucrats do not choose grant winners. It is done by peer review panels representing highly respected arts practitioners and lay people.|
|NEA will fund pornography and blasphemy.||NEA does not fund art that specifically attempts to offend people. Its goal is to fund the highest quality art that can serve the most number of people, especially those living in underserved areas.|
|There is no federal role in investing in the arts.||Most every modern country in the world identifies an important role for the arts to thrive in their country in order for their people to express themselves, their culture, and their way of life to others.|
|There is no Constitutional justification for the federal government to support the arts.||Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”|