Considering possible major federal funding cuts to the arts and museums

Pierre Vaugeois
Mars 19, 2017

Among the dozens of organizations and programs on the chopping block, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are all proposed to be eliminated or zeroed out. Film Forum received $30,000 for its exhibition on experimental Latin American films for this year's multi-institutional art exhibit Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.

The same fate would also befall the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds dozens of scholarly programs in California. The council depends on the NEH for about 70 percent of its funding. In total, the NEA split $7.8 million among 119 grantees in California this year (2016-2017), while another $1.2 million went to the California Arts Council. The Council on the Arts annually disburses an additional $16 million to state organizations from the state's hotel-motel tax. Other funding is distributed based on county population.

Coincidentally, the NEA and Arts North Carolina proposals happened to fall at the same time as several planned arts advocacy events.

"Some people thinks of arts as a frill but it improves critical thinking and math and we become and educated society", Steinberg said.

Responses from the likes of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts executive director John Killacky, Vermont Arts Council executive director Alex Aldrich and others could essentially be summed up thusly: " Sheeeeeit". The NEH and NEA were last reauthorized more than two decades ago, increasing their vulnerability in Congress. "That will certainly lead to a general devaluation of the arts in our country".

That's the state of the arts in the Trump era.

"In my area, there are grants to translate Spanish poetry in Highland Park (for Enriqueta Carrington to translate the poetry of 17th century Mexican poet Juana Ines de la Cruz), at Crossroads (Theatre in New Brunswick) there's a grant for African-American singers and in Perth Amboy there's a grant supporting Latino arts and culture", Pallone said.

"We have supporters across the state", he said. People are very concerned.

The budget plan "is shortsighted and does a awful disservice to the American people", he said in a statement.

The NEA works to give everyone the opportunity to participate in the arts - from local concerts to arts programs in schools.

Alabama gets about $775,000 each year from the NEA, which is then given in grants to other arts organizations, big and small, throughout the state, Head said.

Hatch said she will "vociferously oppose" any proposal that could threaten the humanities in the nation. And it is increasingly hard to find large alternative grants as foundations have shifted their funding priorities. The amount of grants varies from year to year, depending on what projects and presentations the arts venues are developing. "That's not to say they're not a little surprised about the audaciousness of the proposal". If his proposed budget cuts for 2018 are approved by Congress, it will include a lot less of the arts.

"These are not huge grants - they're from $30,000 to $75,000 - but they have an enormous impact on their communities", Walker says.

The arts agency helps promote the arts in every congressional district, they said, and offers grants to a range of organizations, particularly those in high-poverty communities. "The notion of eliminating expenditures of tax revenue of less than 20 cents per citizen to support the arts is antithetical to the idea of a vibrant modern democracy". "It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and the humanities, created to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants".

Other reports by CampDesrEcrues

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