Arts and Humanities Under Fire in President's FY19 Budget Proposal

February 13, 2018

Earlier today, the Trump Administration released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2019. Like its FY18 proposal, several agencies and programs important to the arts community are targeted for elimination, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and several programs at the U.S. Department of Education such as the Arts in Education program, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and Well-Rounded Education support grants. While the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State does not face elimination, its proposed allocation of $159 million falls far short of its current estimated level of $630 million.

Bipartisan support in Congress was absolutely critical in ensuring the arts not only maintained safe footing in FY17 appropriations but even resulted in an increase of $2 million to each agency for total funding of $150 million each. Although the FY18 budget has not yet been resolved, the House Appropriations Committee approved $145 million for the NEA last July, while the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed $150 million this past November.

What can you do?
We need you to keep speaking up! The President's budget proposal is just the first step in the FY19 funding process, and Congress will take up spending decisions over the months ahead. There are many opportunities to engage with policy makers, and the League maintains a very quick and easy online platform to 
send emails to Congress that we encourage you to personalize. Even more effective is interacting with your elected officials when they are in their home district or state. Lastly, we know some people think they are not allowed to lobby when it comes to federal policy and funding, but you absolutely can -- and should -- be playing your part as an arts advocate!

No matter what action you take, please keep the 
League's policy team informed so we can support what you're doing and let you know what we hear from specific offices as well.