The White House has formally proposed to eliminate budgeting in multiple departments for the arts, humanities, museums, libraries and public broadcasting by allocating the minimal amount "for expenses necessary to carry out their closure." The budget proposal also eliminates important arts education and afterschool grant programs. Those that will no longer be receiving funding starting in the Fiscal Year of 2018 are the Assistance for Arts Education (through the U.S. Department of Education), the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the Office of Museum Services, Save America's Treasures, and the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs with multiple others among them having their budgets drastically reduced. Take action today.
The arts are a vital part of our community. Three reports from the National Endowment for the Arts reveal new findings about the impact of arts and cultural industries on GDP, as well as how and why Americans participate in certain arts activities. The data for the three reports is all from 2012, so for the first time the NEA can show a comprehensive view of a single year in the life of the arts and cultural sector from three different angles: supply, demand, and motivations for consumer behavior.
"The arts now generate $5.5 billion each year for our state's economy—that's how much it takes to run Dallas and San Antonio, two of our state's biggest cities, for a year—and contribute nearly $350 million in state sales tax revenue annually."
With the 85th Texas Legislative Session wrap up, "the arts" received tremendously increased visibility. A definitive loss was the cut of the $5 million appropriation to Texas Commission on the Arts' (TCA) Cultural & Fine Arts District grant program. The money that was secured the first time was wisely invested in TCA cultural districts across the state and with studies conducted by the Texas Cultural Trust and TXP inc., the Session started with the assurances that the $5 million would be part of the TCA's base funding, but it never made it into the Senate and House Budget bills SB1 and HB 2. There's a lot of work to be done to prepare for the 86th Legislative Session.
On Saturday, June 17, 2017 Americans for the Arts released Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, our fifth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry and is the most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, in 2015, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, supported 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. Keep up to date with all of the findings, resources and news regarding AEP 5.
On Wednesday, July 12, 2017 the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to provide funding for our nation's natural and cultural resources, proposing $145 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2018. This is a $5 million cut from current levels and $10 million less than the request supported by a record number of membes of Congress this year. The good news is that this proposal counters and fully rejects the Administration's call for termination of our nation's cultural agencies.
On July 18, 2017 the full House Appropriations Committee met and approved funding for the National Endowment for the Arts at $145 million for FY 2018. Although this is a $5 million budget cut from FY 2017, we are encouraged that it is not the termination proposal sought by the Administration since March.