Last week, the president released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. The proposal includes a provision to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), along with several other cultural agencies.
It's important to remember that there is a solid foundation of bipartisan arts advocacy and support for the NEA. Last year, the president's budget also called for the elimination of the NEA for FY2018 and proposed cutting the FY2017 budget. Congress, however, increased the budget of the NEA in FY2017. While the FY2018 appropriations process remains unresolved, the House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee approved a mere $5 million cut for the NEA for FY18, and the Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed but not yet passed level funding.
Keep speaking up!
The President's budget proposal is just the first step in the FY19 funding process, and Congress will take up spending decisions over the months ahead. The arts community was very active in 2017, sending thousands of letters and making phone calls to Congress urging lawmakers to support the NEA and other cultural agencies. You can build on that foundation by strengthening your relationships with lawmakers, and making sure they are aware of how the NEA supports the arts in communities across the United States.
You can personalize and send an email to your legislators through Chorus America's partner, the Performing Arts Alliance. A face-to-face meeting with an elected officials when they are in their home district or state is even more effective - research contact information here.