Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch offered this statement in response to the November 20, 2017 action on the FY 2018 Senate Interior Appropriations bill, which includes proposed funding of $150 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities:
“I am pleased to see the Senate Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations allocate full funding for the nation’s federal cultural agencies to continue their important work in awarding grants to cultural organizations and governmental agencies in every U.S. state, territory, and congressional district across the country. This action is in stark contrast to President Trump’s call for full termination of these agencies. I thank the strong leadership of Senate Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-NM), both of whom were awarded our Congressional Arts Leadership Award in 2017 and 2015, respectively.
“The Senate Appropriations bill is $5 million higher than the $145 million funding level allocated by the House of Representatives in July. As the Senate and House will need to reconcile to reach a final funding decision, Americans for the Arts is urging support for the Senate version. A portion of these federally allocated funds will specifically help expand the NEA’s arts therapy work with military personnel, veterans, and their families.
“Our grassroots advocacy this year has seen an all-time high with more than 187,000 messages sent to Congress and hundreds of full-page ads and op-eds placed in local newspapers across every corner of America explaining why NEA grants make a difference in their communities. The fact is advocacy works and is making an impact. I am proud of the work that arts advocates have already accomplished together and the work to come, and I thank arts champions in Congress, including Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Louise Slaughter and Leonard Lance, Senate Cultural Caucus Co-Chairs Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and the work of Americans for the Arts Action Fund in building a bipartisan, pro-arts majority in the U.S. Congress.”