Here we go again! U.S. House Subcommittee Proposes $20 Million Cut to NEA Funding.

Once again, the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is facing cuts. This morning, a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee began the funding cycle for Fiscal Year 2012 by approving legislation to fund the NEA at $135.2 million, which is a reduction of $20 million from the current year. If enacted, it would be the deepest cut to the NEA in 16 years.

This proposed cut to the NEA is 13 percent below the current funding level, while overall funding in the bill, which includes agencies like the EPA, Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service, is reduced by only 7 percent. As Americans for the Arts stated during the contentious FY 2011 budget consideration earlier this year, the arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and it is willing to do its part.

The arts sector has proven to be resilient as a growth industry and a strong contributor to the economy. NEA dollars are a critical lifeline in helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling. This drastic reduction does not take into account the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries.

It is expected that the House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation next week, and the full House of Representatives may consider it before the August recess.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Americans for The Arts has set up on their website, where you can send a customizable message to your member of Congress calling on them to reject these funding cuts. It is again critical to voice your concerns before this goes further in the voting process.
Visit: http://capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/alert/?alertid=13209311 It takes less than two minutes to make an impact for the arts!

***Source: American for The Arts, Arts Action Alert.

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