Editorial: Supporting NEA not a matter of partisan policy

Posted on: March 10, 2017

“The National Endowment for the Arts spends less than $150 million on the arts—and the arts send more than $22 billion back to local and state governments. Let that sink in,” writes John Schreiber in Thursday’s (3/9) NJ Spotlight. Schreiber is president and CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. “Dissolving the agency to trim the budget [by] getting rid of the NEA is a terribly inefficient way to reach that goal … like trying to balance a household budget by cutting back on postage stamps….What is efficient? The NEA itself…. Arts organizations revive the fortunes of inner cities and small rural towns; arts programming improves academic outcomes for children; art therapy treats veterans suffering from PTSD. And those programs are the kinds that NEA grants fund…. NEA grants go to every corner of the country, funding programs in every congressional district. A full 40 percent of its money goes to state arts organizations, like the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, so that local administrators can choose which local arts programs to fund…. It’s not a matter of partisan policy; it’s a matter of doing a lot of good, for a lot of people, for very little money.”

Posted March 10, 2017