June 11, 2008
This afternoon in Congress, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which sets the initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), approved a $15.3 million increase for the NEA in its FY 2009 spending bill. Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) has once again proposed an increase in funding for arts and culture in the face of a dramatic cut proposed by the president's recent budget. Please click here to send a message to your Members of Congress telling them to support this important funding increase!
Currently funded at $144.7 million, this increase would bring the agency's budget to $160 million. President Bush requested a cut to $128 million for the NEA for FY09 from the current $144.7 million level. On Arts Advocacy Day, Americans for the Arts presented a panel of witnesses before Chairman Dicks' Appropriations Subcommittee calling for a significant increase in funding for the NEA. Witnesses included actor/director Robert Redford, musician John Legend, and actor Kerry Washington. Video of the hearing and further details including the witnesses' testimony are available online here.
Thanks to all of the grassroots advocates for your letters and calls to Congress and for attending Arts Advocacy Day. We're seeing the results! Next Steps:The FY 2009 Interior Appropriations bill will next go to full committee and then to the House floor for final consideration where your help may be needed to defend against floor amendments attempting to cut this increase. We must now put pressure on the Senate to match this funding level. Please take two minutes to visit the Americans for the Arts E-Advocacy Center to send a letter to your Members of Congress letting them know that the arts are important to you!
Americans for the Arts or its Arts Action Fund
1000 Vermont Avenue NW6th FloorWashington DC . 20005 T 202.371.2830 F 202.371.0424
One East 53rd Street . 2nd Floor New York NY . 10022 T 212.223.2787 F 212.980.4857