President's budget proposes eliminating NEA; join in the national response to current arts policy issues

March 16, 2017

President's budget outline proposes eliminating NEA, NEH, and CPB

Earlier this morning, President Trump released his budget outline for fiscal year 2018, including a call for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), along with deep cuts to afterschool funding and State Department cultural exchange programs -- all as part of a broader effort to decrease nondefense domestic discretionary spending by $54 billion.
In a public statement this morning, NEA Chair Jane Chu said, "We understand that the President's budget request is a first step in a very long budget process ... At this time, the NEA continues to operate as usual and will do so until a new budget is enacted by Congress."

From creating educational collaborations with the Anchorage Public Schools, making new music that honors the sounds of the traditional Lakota drums in South Dakota, to preparing the next generation of professional musicians in Miami, orchestras across the country form partnerships that strengthen the fabric of their communities with the support of NEA funding.

Today's announcement is just the beginning of the many next steps of the federal budget process. As the League recently reported, leaders in Congress have voiced bipartisan support for the NEA, both in the past two years of funding proposals, and in public statements made in just the past two weeks. Action by Congress will determine the future funding levels for the NEA, and coordinated advocacy by stakeholders in communities across the country will make a difference in ensuring continued support 

Arts Advocacy Day is March 21

The League has partnered with the full array of national arts and artists organizations to advance federal policies that support our nation's creative capacity. One of many days to raise your voice in support of the arts is right around the corner. Tuesday, March 21: National Arts Advocacy Day is the most public, coordinated day of the year for arts advocates from all disciplines, all states, and every Congressional district to join together and speak up in support of the arts. 

Given today's budget news, the NEA will be a key focus of Tuesday's events. Here is one action you can take right now:
  • Contact your member of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge your Representative to sign onto the Congressional Arts Caucus letter in support of NEA fundingThis letter will be open, at minimum, through March 24. Congressional offices can contact the leaders of the letter to sign on: Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ). Also, ask your Senators to sign onto this letter in support of NEA funding by contacting Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).

 Partner with others and keep advocating, all year on issues

Action is underway on a wide array of policy issues that affect the arts, including supporting the NEA and its capacity to provide public access to great art, strengthening arts in education in our nation's schools, protecting the value of charitable giving incentives, and improving the visa policy for engaging foreign guest artists. We have prepared background and talking points on all these issues. Make a point of reaching out to other arts groups in your area and  partner up to carry out these actions together. There are a number of ways you can make contact:  

  • Make plans for an in-person visit. Check out our 2017 Calendar of Advocacy Opportunities to engage your policymakers when they are back at home. This relationship building can ensure your officials know your orchestra's value in the community.
  • Pick up the phone to call the district office. 
  • Personalize a message through one of the League's easy-to-use email campaigns to Congress.
  • Post on your elected officials' social media pages. To find the social media and district office information, simply enter your zip code here, and select your official.
Congressional staffers have told us that when a group of constituents weigh in at the same time on a particular topic, the elected official takes notice. Be sure to explain how national policies impact your local community, and encourage your friends to do the same.

Talk to us

We value hearing about the conversations you have with elected officials and their staff. With this information, the League can better represent you when we visit those same officials here in D.C. Whether you have already had an interaction, would like some help preparing for an upcoming one, or you have a connection to a policymaker that could be useful when the time is right, we welcome hearing from you, so please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at any time. Thank you for making music and making a difference.