Articles & News Updates

Articles and updates from the news media on topics affecting the arts community, including federal policy changes, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other related federal agencies.

Senate Appropriations Bill Recommends Continued NEA, NEH Funding at 2017 Levels

On Monday, November 20, the US Senate Appropriations Committee released a 2018 spending bill that would fund the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities at 2017 budget levels, $150 million for each agency. Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch released a statement Tuesday in response:

This action is in stark contrast to President Trump’s call for full termination of these agencies. I thank the strong leadership of Senate Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-NM), both of whom were awarded our Congressional Arts Leadership Award in 2017 and 2015, respectively.

The Senate Appropriations bill is $5 million higher than the $145 million funding level allocated by the House of Representatives in July. As the Senate and House will need to reconcile to reach a final funding decision, Americans for the Arts is urging support for the Senate version.

Read the full statement from Robert Lynch.

Northern California Grantmakers to Host Event on Fighting Intolerance

With support from Gerbode Foundation, Tides, The California Wellness Foundation, and Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers will host a live event for grantmakers on “Fighting Intolerance in the Bay Area and Beyond.” From the event page:

Join us for a thought-provoking and insightful program with local and national experts on these complex issues, and come learn about what funders can do to help overcome these challenges. Our speakers will share their strategies in education, policy, organizing, communications, and other critical social change methodologies.

Learn more.

Members of White House Presidential Arts and Humanities Committee Resign in Protest

From The Washington Post:

The remaining members of a presidential arts and humanities panel resigned on Friday in yet another sign of growing national protest of President Trump’s recent comments on the violence in Charlottesville.

Members of the President’s Committee are drawn from Broadway, Hollywood, and the broader arts and entertainment community and said in a letter to Trump that “Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.”

The arts commission has focused on three main tasks: promoting a program called Turnaround Arts that supports arts integration programs in mostly urban and rural schools; encouraging economic revitalization through the arts; and undertaking cultural diplomacy, including a visit to Cuba to meet with some of the island country’s artists and entertainers.

Read the full article on The Washington Post.

House Appropriations Committee Makes Recommendation on FY 2018 Education Budget

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.

View the memo from Penn Hill Group (PDF)

Draft Budget Appropriations for NEA, NEH, ED, IMLS, and CPB Released

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

NEH Fellow: ‘If Trump Cares bout Western Civilization, He Needs to Fund the Arts’

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.

Read the full article on The Washington Post.

Tim Kaine: People Like Condi Rice and Albert Einstein Show Why We Need the Arts

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.

Read the full article on Time.

Starving the Arts: How the White House Budget Threatens Creativity

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.

Read the full article on The Hill.