We’ve known since shortly after the first of this year, there was good chance President Trump’s first budget would include proposals to eliminate funding for a number of agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Indeed, the budget blueprint he released March 16 included defunding all of those cultural agencies.
In Arizona, this would mean the loss of millions of dollars for arts and culture organizations. In fact, the two-year, 2014-2016, total for grants to Arizona from the NEA, NEH, and IMLS, alone was more than $4.5 million.
Sadly, we are not surprised. We’ve been preparing for this – meeting with members of our Arizona Congressional delegation and encouraging advocates like you to send your thoughts about the importance of the NEA in particular to your Congressional members and President Trump.
Now the REAL work begins. This blueprint must be considered by the Congress who ultimately makes the decisions about the funding levels of federal programs, including outright elimination. The budget process is very long and very political, and there will be many opportunities to influence how members of Congress vote on this issue.
Fortunately, federal support for our arts and cultural agencies has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, and if members of Congress don’t understand the broad and deep support these agencies have among citizens like ourselves – they are about to find out.
Now is the time to commit yourself to sustained advocacy for arts and culture.
Take Immediate Action | Send a message to your elected representative in Congress
Keep up-to-date on other cultural agencies threatened with elimination
Act Now | What you can do
As part of Arizona Citizens for the Arts advocacy campaign – starting today – we are asking you to:
Go to the Americans for the Arts Action Center and send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress. Actively recruit your friends and family to do the same. Generously, share information on social media, using the national hashtags – #SAVEtheNEA, #ArtsVote, AND tag your Congressional members.
If you are a board member or an arts administrator for an organization, engage your fellow employees and your whole board in how the organization can engage in advocacy for the cultural agencies, and how each individual board member or employee will participate.
If you are an individual or an organization that has benefited from an NEA grant, we would appreciate you sending us a short narrative about the impact of that grant – the program it supported, who benefited, why it was important to the community, and what would have been lost or never have come to be without the support. We will be using these stories in our lobbying.
Stay informed, and be ready to act. Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter, AND enrolled in our Legislative Action Center. And visit the American’s for the Arts Advocacy Mobilization Center for up-to-date information about what is happening in Washington.
Resources | Find out more
Get up-to-date information about what's happening in Washington | Americans for the Arts Mobilization Center