Friday, June 4, 2021

Americans for the Arts logo

Nolen Bivens, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, released this statement in response to the Biden administration’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget:

“We are very pleased that after four years of proposed eliminations of the cultural agencies by the previous administration, the Biden administration’s FY 2022 budget request calls for the largest increase in the 56-year history of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)—a $201 million budget, which is a $33.5 million increase of FY 2021 levels for the NEA. The budget announcement also included increased support for other cultural programs as well, such as a $10 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities and an $8 million increase for the Institute of Museums and Library Services.

“This strong show of support from the administration is very encouraging for arts agencies, creative workers, and the many programs that the federal cultural agencies support. The proposed budget is promising and shows a significant commitment to the arts and culture sector that we have been waiting for.

“We are also particularly supportive of the NEA’s intention to develop new arts equity grant programs to ‘pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing racial equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity’ and to do so through ‘trusted partners’ like state, regional and local arts agencies.  

“For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories, particularly benefiting communities that have fewer opportunities to experience the arts. We are deeply grateful for our pro-arts bipartisan majority in Congress, particularly Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), STEAM Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Senate Cultural Caucus Co-Chairs Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), and the bipartisan work of Congress and the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees in upholding the arts.

“Americans for the Arts and its Arts Action Fund network of 420,000 grassroots arts advocates look forward to working with Congress to at least match the federal funding level proposed by the Administration for the arts and culture sector.”

For tools, resources, and information on how to make the case for the arts and arts education, visit the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Mobilization Center.