Friday, March 10, 2023
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) 2024 budget:
“We are pleased that the Biden administration’s FY 2024 budget request calls for a $211 million* budget for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as well as for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). While a modest increase, it is moving in the right direction and represents a $4 million increase over FY 2023 levels. The FY23 Omnibus package at the end of last year included funding increases that moved both agencies closer to indexing their funding to $1.00 per capita, up from 54 cents per capita to 62 cents—a policy proposal arts advocates strongly support. The proposed FY24 budget shows an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture sector as it continues to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
“Americans for the Arts believes in the cultural, social, educational, and economic power of the arts to help solve some of the greatest challenges in America. We are inspired by the tireless work of arts advocates across the country and their efforts to advance arts funding increases at all levels of government. Our advocates will be asking their Congressional delegations to minimally appropriate $211 million each for the NEA and for the NEH, but to also continue a specific path to index these federal agencies’ budgets to $1.00 per capita for the future.
We also commend President Biden on increasing education funding in the areas of Titles I and IV, which will increase funding for well-rounded subjects, including arts education. The arts support the daily well-being of students, foster a welcoming and safe school environment, and encourage inclusivity through multiple pathways for every child’s creative voice.
“We are deeply grateful to our pro-arts leaders in Congress, who continue to step forward and recognize the value of the arts in making communities more livable and their value as a national asset—particularly Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01), STEAM Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), and Senate Cultural Caucus Co-Chairs Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), as well as bipartisan Interior Appropriations Subcommittee leadership of Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Chellie Pingree in appreciating the economic and intrinsic value of the arts and culture to our nation.
“Americans for the Arts and its Arts Action Fund network of 420,000 grassroots arts advocates are eager to work with Congress to at least match the federal funding level proposed by the Administration for the arts and culture sector. We look forward to continuing to build a path for a more substantial investment in the future of the arts as a vital part of the vast American canvas.”
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.
*For more about the Biden Administration budget, visit the White House Budget webpage and download the OMB Budget Authority Excel spreadsheet.