Speak Up Now in Support of the Arts
July 23, 2013
This morning, a 49% cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was approved by a vote of 7-4 by the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee, beginning action on FY14 funding. This proposed reduction is dramatically disproportionate to the overall 19% reduction in funding to the entire Interior bill. House Committee leadership has said, “In order to do more with less, the legislation seeks to protect vital programs that directly affect the safety and well-being of Americans, while dramatically scaling back lower-priority, or ‘nice-to-have’ programs.”
Speak up now to tell your elected officials how important NEA funding is to communities, and defend the public value of the arts. NEA direct grants to orchestras and NEA support to state arts agencies provide public access to performances, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors.
What’s Next: With members of Congress on both sides of the aisle unhappy with the broad Interior funding package, the bill may undergo significant changes when considered by the full House Appropriations committee as early as next week. From there, further action on the entire Interior bill is highly unpredictable. Time is quickly running out for the House and Senate to complete appropriations bills before the fiscal year ends on September 30. Even if the Interior bill doesn’t ultimately see its way to completion, both the House and Senate will soon begin negotiating on all final FY14 funding decisions. This is a critical moment to speak up in support of public funding for the arts! Go on record urging your members of Congress to support the NEA.