Increases for NEA, NEH, and arts education in FY17 catch-all funding bill!

May 1, 2017

Increases for NEA and NEH 
Significant gains for the arts are included in this week's action on the FY17 funding bill that was left unfinished from last year, providing a strong position for federal arts and culture funding as Congress shifts its attention to the FY18 budget debates that have already begun. Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) would increase by $2 million each in a catch-all spending bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. Despite requests from the Trump Administration to reduce each cultural agency by $15 million in FY17, the bipartisan deal worked out by Congress preserves the increases that were passed in the House Interior bill last year, and demonstrates strong bipartisan support on the Hill for the cultural agencies.
 
New opportunities for arts education 
The U.S. Department of Education's Assistance for Arts Education program would receive level funding at $27 million, supporting a new grant competition that is currently open. New support would also be available through $400 million in funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, a new program created by the Every Student Succeeds Act that would support the arts and other subjects essential for a well-rounded education. Advocates will be seeking to grow that new fund substantially in FY18.
 
Next steps
This bill is scheduled for votes in the House and Senate later this week. Once funding for the current fiscal year is settled, Congress will swiftly turn its attention to FY18 funding priorities, and shape its response to the Trump Administration's proposal to eliminate funding for the NEA and NEH. 
 
Keep speaking up
Thank you! Your ongoing advocacy can help ensure that these very important gains made in the FY17 bill will continue into next year's funding process. Orchestras have been meeting with policy leaders and making their voices heard in partnership with the broader arts community. The League will keep you up to date on further developments so you can keep this momentum going and continue to weigh in to support federal funding for the arts and arts education.