Grantmakers in the Arts understands that changes in the national political climate have impacted the arts and our communities. Arts Funders Respond is an opportunity to learn and share strategies, statements, news, and other resources to support arts grantmakers as they navigate and respond to the changing political landscape.
Learn how arts funders are taking action with program and policy changes. Read statements, op-eds, and blog posts by foundation leaders and others in the field. Get updates on the latest news and articles on issues that impact the arts community. And discover resources to support advocacy efforts for public and private funders.
I urge you to take advantage of any advocacy opportunities to lobby your state and federal lawmakers. As a board member of an organization that serves populations who were greatly impacted by our state budget impasse, a statewide emergency, and proposed threats from Washington, I continuously ask myself, “Have I done everything I can for my organization? Have I been an effective advocate? And if now isn’t my time to act, then when?”
The US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations legislation on July 19, 2017. GIA’s federal policy firm, Penn Hill Group (Washington, DC), has provided a detailed memo with an overview of opening statements and amendments offered during the markup as well as a summary of the major education and related provisions of the legislation and Committee Report. Additionally, the memo includes a chart comparing funding of major programs to both FY2017 funding levels and the FY2018 budget request.
In addition to articles, reports, and policy briefings, Grantmakers in the Arts offers webinars for arts funders interested in engaging in advocacy. Video recordings are available for previous GIA webinars:
This bulletin from GIA’s federal policy firm, Penn Hill Group (Washington, DC), provides the latest information on subcommittee budget recommendations for the federal departments and programs related to education and the arts.
Arts Agency Proposed Budget Appropriations
Last week, the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies proposed funding both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities at $145 million each for fiscal year 2018, a $5 million decrease from FY 2017 funding level.
The Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies also released their FY 2018 bill draft. Overall, the level of spending the subcommittee is permitted is $5 billion less than the 2017 level. The subcommittee has proposed maintaining FY 2017 funding levels for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Corporation for National and Community Service. Continue reading Draft Budget Appropriations for NEA, NEH, ED, IMLS, and CPB Released→
Charles McNamara is a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellow working on an internationally collaborative project. In his op-ed in The Washington Post, he writes:
As one of the lexicographers at the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (TLL), a 123-year-old and still-incomplete Latin dictionary, I write meticulously organized entries for this academic reference work alongside an international team of classicists. Encyclopaedia Britannica calls the TLL “probably the most scholarly dictionary in the world,” and after one year on the job, I’m inclined to agree. But my job may not exist much longer if the Trump administration succeeds in eliminating the National Endowment for the Humanities, the agency that funds the single American position at the TLL.
In an article in Time magazine, Senator Tim Kaine recently co-authored an op-ed with artist Drue Kataoka in support of the NEA, arguing that participation in the arts sparks creativity and innovation in great scientists and thinkers.
We see this trend of art spurring scientific innovation in the biographies of great scientists. Alexander Graham Bell was a gifted pianist, and his observations about how musical chords traveled through the air inspired him to invent the telephone. In the next century, actress Hedy Lamarr and music composer George Antheil similarly used their knowledge of player pianos to invent a radio guidance system for U.S. torpedoes; these artists’ “frequency hopping” technology has since become a key component of military communications, GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth.
The CEO of Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform which is “arguably the largest arts funding organization in the private sector,” published an op-ed in support of the National Endowment for the Arts:
When a Washington Post headline [in 2013] declared “Kickstarter raises more money for artists than the NEA,” I felt both humility and apprehension. We were mentioned in the same breath as the National Endowment for the Arts, an organization whose mission we admire deeply. But I worried our success might be seen as an argument that the private sector alone should address arts funding.
Pam Breaux, CEO of National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, argues that public and private funding are both necessary to fund arts and culture in America:
There is no question as to the public value of the arts and, to be clear, the ongoing debate is not whether the arts have a public benefit, but whether the responsibility to fund the arts should lie with the federal government or private philanthropies. Abundant research points to a clear answer: the private sector alone cannot fund the arts.
Public and private funders have significantly different mandates, and a solely philanthropic arts support model would leave many American communities behind.
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.