National News

September 27, 2019

Arts Action and Funding

The latest news from Americans for the Arts.

The Arts Action Fund launched the new podcast series “ArtsVote 2020 with BenFolds in order to generate a national discussion with 2020 presidential candidates and political leaders about the arts, arts education, and tax policies to advance nonprofit charities in America. The Arts Action Fund has specifically invited every Presidential Candidate to have a one-on-one, 30-minute conversation with Ben Folds about their personal background and views in the arts and arts education. Candidates are encouraged to share their previous policy efforts to transform communities and states through the arts, and their vision for advancing support for the arts and the charitable sector in the future.

Ben conducts the podcast series in person or by phone with candidates and other political leaders as they travel across the country on the campaign trail. These podcasts are conversations about public policy and the arts and are not endorsements for a candidate. All podcasts are posted online at ArtsActionFund.org/podcast along with additional resources like our 2020 arts policy platforms and candidate questionnaire. Subscribe to the podcast on the Anchor app or your favorite podcast app.

Funding information

Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities information is below including a link to more details.

The U.S. House of Representatives completed its appropriations process in July for fiscal year 2020. The House approved funding increases to every federal cultural agency and program and even included a first-time ever allocation of $5 million for arts therapy programs in the military’s budget. Specifically included in the bill is a $12.5 million increase for both the NEA and NEH, bringing their funding levels up to $167.5 million each. This funding level increase matches the ask we made to Congress on Arts Advocacy Day this past March.

With Congress now back in session after the August recess, the Senate has now begun its appropriations process. Unfortunately, the Senate Subcommittee on Interior made an inital allocation of only $157 million each to the NEA and NEH ($10.5 million less than the House-approved level.) As the bill moves through the full Senate, Arts Action Fund members can weigh in on this issue by contacting their Senators through our online Arts Action Center. It’s a quick and easy way to email your Senators with a customizable, pre-written message urging them to match the House allocated funding levels. Please visit www.bit.ly/SenateNEA.

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