Communities across America have a stake in the arts, including our own. According to Americans for the Arts, 4.8 million Americans go to work in arts and culture industries. Additionally, the arts generate $22.3 billion in federal, state, and local government revenue.
The major driver of arts initiatives across the country is the National Endowment for the Arts.
The NEA’s goals are fulfilled primarily through direct grants, reviewed and recommended by panels of citizen experts, to arts organizations across the country. NEA grants provide a significant return on investment of federal dollars with $1 of NEA direct funding leveraging up to $9 in private and other public funds, resulting in $500 million in matching support in 2016.
President Trump’s proposed budget for FY 2018 called for an elimination of the NEA, among other cultural agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have rejected this.
We simply cannot afford to cut back on our federal investment in the arts and culture in this country.