Monthly Archives: March 2017

Darren Walker: The Arts Are Not Just a “Special Interest”

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker has recently published an op-ed on The Hill in support of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities:

Of course, there is something at stake here much greater than the economic impact of public support for the arts. In a time of discordant political discourse — of competing, conflicting ideas of our shared future — the arts open our hearts and our minds, build empathy among us, and reconnect us with the human experience we all share. They are no special interest; they are a national interest that strengthens who we are.

Read the full statement on The Hill.

Can Programs that Help the Military Save the Federal Arts Agencies?

A recent article in The New York Times highlights some of the art therapy programs funded by the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities which serve veterans and their families. Given government support of veterans services, the article discusses how the success of these programs might influence conversations and decisions surrounding continuing funding for the endowments:

The fate of projects like the Warrior Chorus is likely to be determined in key congressional appropriations committees as they consider whether the two endowments should be funded, and at what level. In the past, lawmakers have cited the military and veterans’ programs when justifying budget increases for the endowments, which now each receive roughly $148 million.

Read the full article on The New York Times.

Here’s What’s at Stake for Philly Arts and Culture if the NEA and Other Agencies Get Axed

From Philly.com:

A little-known and cryptically named national office — the indemnity program of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities — has often provided insurance for museums in Philadelphia and the rest of the United States for art they borrow from museums and private collectors around the country and the world.

<p class="indent"Now, the future of the indemnity program, administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, is in doubt as the Trump administration tries to eliminate the NEA, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Read the full post on Philly.com.

Mellon President Earl Lewis Pens Op-Ed in Support of NEA and NEH

An op-ed by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis discusses the unique role that the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities play in funding arts and culture initiatives across the country. Lewis highlights ways the Endowments have enriched society and filled a niche in the funding arena – supporting programs in underfunded rural areas, lending “validation” to projects that may have otherwise been overlooked by private philanthropy, supporting veterans’ programs, leveraging public-private partnerships, and providing resources beyond what may be available on a state government level.

Read the op-ed on Bloomberg.

Vickie Benson on Why Our Communities Need the NEA

In a new blog post at The McKnight Foundation, Arts Program Director Vickie Benson makes the case that the National Endowment for the Arts continues to illuminate the power of the arts, and that our communities are better off because of their work:

I’ve seen the fierce battles over these arts and cultural agencies play out before. I had a front row seat during my tenure as a program specialist at the NEA in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The critical difference is that the arts sector is in a better position now than it has ever been before in its ability to explain the value of these agencies and the work they support. Because of intentional strategies to support independent, large-scale research, the arts sector has far-reaching and deep data that we didn’t have twenty-five years ago.

Read the full blog post at The McKnight Foundation.

Advocates Raise The Alarm Over Ripple Effects Of Eliminating NEH, NEA

From Talking Points Memo:

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have long been ripe targets for conservatives looking to trim fat from the federal budget, but President Donald Trump’s newly released blueprint proposes eliminating them entirely—and arts and humanities advocates are already gearing up for a fight.

Advocates feel they have a good chance of lobbying Congress to save funding for the endowments, which they say fund programs that offer crucial support to the public education system, help veterans readjust to civilian life and bring arts and culture to small communities.

Read the full article on Talking Points Memo.

NASAA: “Eliminating the NEA would hurt every state in our nation”

In a statement today, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) argues that “eliminating the NEA would hurt every state in our nation.” The statement outlines the national impacts of eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, and NASAA has voiced its resolve “to sustain the NEA and ensure that its important work continues.” Grantmakers in the Arts is committed to working with NASAA, Americans for the Arts, and other national partners to support the NEA.

Read the full statement from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

Statement from National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu

Jane Chu, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, has released a statement following today’s release of the president’s budget plan:

Today we learned that the president’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every congressional district in the nation. . . .

Read the full statement from NEA Chairman Jane Chu.