For those of you not already on the Americans for the Arts action alert list, here’s a message that may interest you. My support hardly counts, as I only have one non-voting delegate representing my interests in Congress, but those of you from actual states could do some good. Here’s the 411:
This afternoon in Congress, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which sets the initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), approved a $15.3 million increase for the NEA in its FY 2009 spending bill. Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) has once again proposed an increase in funding for arts and culture in the face of a dramatic cut proposed by the president’s recent budget. Please click here to send a message to your Members of Congress telling them to support this important funding increase!
Currently funded at $144.7 million, this increase would bring the agency’s budget to $160 million. President Bush requested a cut to $128 million for the NEA for FY09 from the current $144.7 million level. On Arts Advocacy Day, Americans for the Arts presented a panel of witnesses before Chairman Dicks’ Appropriations Subcommittee calling for a significant increase in funding for the NEA. Witnesses included actor/director Robert Redford, musician John Legend, and actor Kerry Washington. Video of the hearing and further details including the witnesses’ testimony are available online here.
Thanks to all of the grassroots advocates for your letters and calls to Congress and for attending Arts Advocacy Day. We’re seeing the results!