Federal Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts
For 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has provided strategic leadership and investment in the arts through its core programs for dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, multidisciplinary arts, music, theater, visual arts, and other programs. Among the proudest accomplishments of the NEA is the growth of arts activity in areas of the nation that were previously underserved or not served at all, especially in rural and inner-city communities. Americans can now see professional productions and exhibitions of high quality in their own hometowns.
A unique combination of private and public funding and box office receipts come together to support the nonprofit performing arts. A critical source of federal support for performing arts organizations around the country comes from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Through direct grants and support to state arts agencies, the NEA awards more than 2,200 grants each year to nonprofit performing arts organizations for projects that encourage artistic creativity. Every congressional district has recieved the benefit of an NEA grant.
Despite overwhelming support by the American public for spending federal tax dollars in support of the arts, the NEA has never recovered from a 40% budget cut in the mid-nineties and its programs are seriously underfunded. The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) and other arts advocates work hard each year to strengthen support for the NEA in Congress.
See the 2015 NEA Issue Brief for background information and talking points about What's At Stake.
We urge Congress to:
Support a budget of $155M for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the FY 2016 Interior Appropriations bill to preserve citizen access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts and to advance creativity and innovation in communities across the United States.
PAA Submits Testimony to House Appropriations Committee
March 25, 2015
The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies is the legislative body that makes recommendations for the NEA's budget. PAA submitted written testimony to this committee highlighting the general value of the NEA's support for the arts in America. It includes specific examples of PAA member organizations' programs and services that recieved FY15 and prior support from the agency. Click here to read PAA's testimony.
Senate Subcommittee Recommends $150M for NEA in 2015
August 1, 2014
The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee released its FY 2015 appropriations requests and recommended $150 million for the NEA. The bill now moves to the full Senate appropriations committee for approval. This request is $4 million higher than both the House's and President's FY15 recommendations for the agency. PAA continues to advocate for $155 million for the agency.
House Appropriations Committee Restores NEA Budget
July 15, 2014
The full House Appropriations Committee restored the NEA’s FY15 budget to $146 million after the Interior Appropriations subcommittee previously recommended a $8 million cut to $138 million. This appropriation represents level funding at the current FY14 amount and is the same as the President’s FY15 request for the agency. While restoration to $146 million is a victory, PAA continues to advocate for $155 million for the NEA. The bill now moves to the full House for approval.
House Recommends $8 million cut to NEA in FY15
July 9, 2014
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies approved a bill appropriating $138 million for the NEA in FY15. This is an $8 million decrease from the current FY14 budget of $146 million, and from the President’s FY15 request for the agency, also $146 million. PAA continues to advocate for $155 million for the agency. The appropriations process still continues: the bill moves next to the full appropriations committee and then the House floor.
PAA Submits Testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee
May 21, 2014
PAA submitted written testimony to the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies stating the importance of the NEA's investments in education, artistic development, the continuation and preservation of our country’s artistic heritage, and the overall quality of life for American citizens. It includes specific examples of PAA member organizations' programs and services that recieved FY14 and prior support from the agency. Click here to read PAA's testimony.
Nomination of Jane Chu Advances in Senate
May 14, 2014
On May 14, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. The committee voted to move her nomination to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote. Prior to the Committee’s vote, PAA sent a letter to HELP committee chair Sen. Harkin and ranking member Sen. Alexander encouraging floor consideration of the nomination as soon as possible, offering to be a resource during the process if needed.