Proposed NEA budget cuts

As a member of the Alliance of Artists Communities, HUB-BUB got a startling email this afternoon calling for action to save the NEA from a $20 million budget cut. We’re sharing it with you below because we’re pretty sure if you’re reading this blog or follow HUB-BUB then you have an investment in the arts. And because you’re endlessly supportive.

Dear Member,

We need your help to protect funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  Last week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed the Interior Appropriations bill, which proposes to fund the NEA at $135 million for FY 2012. If enacted, this $20 million cut would be the deepest to the NEA in 16 years. Now, this legislation heads to the next step in the funding process, the House floor, where it could face amendments to increase the cut even further or eliminate the NEA altogether.  Please take two minutes to send a message to your member of Congress and tell them to reject further attempts to reduce NEA funding.

  • The arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and is willing to do our part; however, this budget proposal represents a disproportionate cut.
  • The staff of the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus have told us that this proposed cut would reduce the number of NEA grants by up to 733 grants, or 30 percent. It would also curtail the scope of the agency’s outreach by reducing the total number of Americans served by about 27.3 million (28 percent), and the number of youth by 2.7 million (27 percent).
  • NEA dollars are a critical lifeline in helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling. On average, every $1 that the NEA gives in grants generates $7 in investment from sources outside of the federal government.

The NEA budget is a miniscule part (only about 0.5 percent) of the larger Interior bill, which also funds other agencies including the Interior Department, National Wildfire Service and provisions of the Environmental Protection Act.

The House could bring this legislation forward for a vote as early as Monday, and your member of Congress could make a difference.  In debates earlier this year over FY 2011 funding, an amendment to cut the NEA by an additional $20 million succeeded by a slim margin of 8 votes. Help us reverse this gap by sending a message to your Representative today.

Thank you for taking the time to support the arts by making your voice heard!

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Filed under HUB-BUB Staff, Kari Jackson

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