On Monday, June 26, GIA’s board of directors sent a letter to all members of Congress on behalf of GIA’s membership in support of continued funding of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). GIA has also published an advocacy memo on Arts Funders Respond that provides information on how to contact members of the congressional appropriations committees and subcommittees that oversee funding for these agencies.
This bulletin from GIA’s Washington, D.C. policy firm, Penn Hill Group, provides recommendations for arts funders to conduct outreach to their members of Congress on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). As each of these agencies have different strengths among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, this memorandum provides both overall outreach and agency specific recommendations.
Americans for the Arts recently released its Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report, which compiles national data to examine the economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences. As reported on Hyperallergic:
The report, tabulated with the help of economists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, draws from detailed spending and attendance figures provided by 14,439 cultural organizations and a whopping 212,691 audience surveys. It offers startlingly detailed figures about US citizens’ typical cultural consumption patterns and the way cultural organizations’ spending generates even more economic activity in their communities.
From the National Endowment for the Arts:
As the only funder in the country to support arts activities in all 50 states and five U.S. jurisdictions, the National Endowment for the Arts announces its second round of funding for FY 2017. This funding round includes partnerships with state, jurisdictional, and regional arts agencies. The NEA will award 1,195 grants totaling $84.06 million to support organizations that employ artists and cultural workers to provide programs for thousands of people from Idaho to Maine; in urban centers such as Cleveland, Ohio and Dallas, Texas; and in rural towns as different as Haines, Alaska and Whitesburg, Kentucky.
From South Carolina Arts Alliance:
On June 12, Governor Henry McMaster issued 41 budgetary vetoes. Veto #24 eliminates $350,000 from the South Carolina Arts Commission. These funds would support grants made to over 150 nonprofit arts organizations around the state, professional development for industry leaders, and help reach underserved and rural areas in South Carolina – they are not directed to private individuals. Without these funds, grantees could see as much as a 17% decrease in funds already awarded for FY2018, and therefore they will be unable to provide the same level of service expected by their communities, create and maintain jobs, and provide educational outreach to students and schools.
A recent article on The Washington Post offers a detailed look at projects supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Author David Montgomery researched and visited several NEA-funded arts projects and community programs around the country to explore how they impact and are supported by the local community. He also interviewed representatives from the Heritage Foundation, the organization lobbying to defund the NEA and NEH, and Newt Gingrich, who advocated for the defunding of the agencies when he was speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s.
An article in The Art Newspaper describes how a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts helped launch an initiative that has raised over $1.2 million in private funding:
With the $25,000 NEA grant, the St Paul, Minnesota-based arts non-profit, Springboard for the Arts, which calls itself “an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists”, opened an office in Fergus Falls and was able to launch a multi-year cultural project. Since 2011, the organisation has been given a total of $145,000 in NEA grants—but has also received over $1.2m in funding from private donors, such as the McKnight Foundation.
The Council on Foundations had published an informative update on how potential federal tax reforms affecting the charitable deduction (which allows individuals to write off contributions to nonprofits on their taxes) could negatively impact giving to private foundations. To mitigate consequences of changes to the charitable deduction, the Council encourages funders to advocate for “a universal charitable deduction as a part of tax reform.” The update from Council offers detailed information on how private foundations can engage in advocacy and lobbying on this issue.
A recent article on Quartz describes how military service members benefit from arts programming from the National Endowment for the Arts:
The benefits of arts therapy are particularly striking at the “resilience” stage, where it is used to combat physical and psychological trauma. Research has shown that arts therapy helps military patients suffering from PTSD and TBI to communicate their experiences, which allows medical staff to better understand their conditions and pinpoint more effective treatments.
A recent article on Hyperallergic discusses how the National Endowment for the Arts distributes funding across the US, and how important that funding is for rural states in particular:
According to the National Association of State Arts Agencies’ Fiscal Year 2017 Revenue Report (the source of many of the funding statistics included here), American Samoa, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, the US Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin all received 40% or more of their 2017 state arts agency funding from the NEA.