Federal budget proposals slash NEA funding

Posted on: February 16, 2011

Monday (2/14) on the Washington Post blog ArtsPost, Jacqueline Trescott reports, “For the proposed federal budget for fiscal 2012, released Monday, almost all of the agencies and museums that receive government dollars saw their checkbooks trimmed. The budget sent to Capitol Hill by the administration is a starting point for discussions about the merits of government funding for the arts and humanities, as well as the value of initiatives the agencies fund. … The fiscal 2012 blueprint requests $146.2 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, a 13 percent decrease from its last approved budget of $167.5 million in fiscal 2010. The money for fiscal 2011 is contained in a continuing resolution but has not had final approval. The National Endowment for the Humanities received the same $146.2 million request. … The proposed budgets were criticized by the Americans for the Arts, a national organization that promotes the arts and lobbies for better funding. … ‘At a time when NEA dollars are the critical lifeline helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling, this drastic reduction does not take into account the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries,’ said Robert Lynch, the group’s president.” Tuesday (2/15), on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mike Boehm reports that, “The Republican House leadership last week called for immediately reducing the NEA and NEH budgets to $145 million for the current fiscal year, while Americans for the Arts reported Tuesday that an amendment by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) would lower the current-year ante to $124.5 million. Obama’s proposed cuts wouldn’t kick in until the next fiscal year. Furthermore, one large segment of the House GOP, the 165-member Republican Study Committee, is pushing to eliminate the NEA, NEH and Corporation for Public Broadcasting entirely.”

Posted February 16, 2011