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Performing Arts Alliance
NEA Issue Center

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Federal Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts

What We Are Asking Right Now | Recent Activity | Action Alert

What's At Stake

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.

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 2014 NEA Issue Brief for background information and talking points about What's At Stake.

 

What We're Asking Right Now

We urge Congress to support a budget of $155 million for the NEA in the FY 2015 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.


Recent Activity

 

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.

PAA Submits Testimony to House Appropriations Committee

April 10, 2014 

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 FY14 and prior support from the agency. Click here to read PAA's testimony. 

President Releases FY15 Budget Request for NEA

March 5, 2014

President Obama released today his FY15 budget requests which include $146 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). His proposal represents level funding from FY14 for the agency.The NEA budget experienced a rollercoaster ride last year, beginning with the President's initial proposal of $154.5 million. In the 2013 sequester, the agency suffered an additional budget cut, and during FY14 appropriations, it was threatened with a cut to $75 million. With your advocacy efforts, the NEA's final FY14 budget was announced at $146 million. PAA and the arts community continue to advocate for $155 million for the NEA.

FY14 Budget Victory for the NEA

January 17, 2014 

On Friday, January 17, President Obama signed into law the $1.1 trillion spending package passed a few days prior by the House and Senate. Lawmakers reached a deal on this spending package in December 2013. The spending bill allocates $146,021,000 to the NEA for FY14 which restores its budget to near-FY12 funding levels. This is nearly double the $75,000,000 the House proposed for FY14 in its Interior bill over the summer. Due to your advocacy efforts, the NEA’s budget has recovered from the 5% cut it received in the FY13 sequester.