The President’s 2014 Budget Proposal and The Arts

***Source: Performing Arts Alliance

Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama
The President released his FY2014 budget proposal. Due in February, the budget arrived two months later than normal and after both the House and Senate have released their own budgets. Below are highlights from the budget proposal as it effects the performing arts field.

Nonprofits Defend Charitable Giving Incentives
As budget debates once gain ramp up, the White House and Congress continue to consider imposing limits on charitable giving incentives. The President’s FY14 budget request once again includes a 28% cap on the rate of tax deductibility for charitable donations, and House and Senate budget and tax policy committees are weighing a range of potential limitations, primarily as cost-saving measures. National nonprofits are calling on Washington’s policy makers to take the charitable deduction off the revenue table once and for all. Reducing incentives to give would shrink the resources available to support community needs.

NEA Up, Arts Ed Down in White House Budget
The President’s FY14 budget proposes $154.466 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which would nearly restore the agency to FY11 funding levels. Congressional action on the budget process will begin in the coming weeks. Funding debates in D.C. promise to be intense, and arts advocates are asking Congress to provide $155 million in NEA funding in FY14.

Arts in Education Funding
For the fifth consecutive year, the President’s budget proposes consolidating the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education into a new, broader funding pool titled “Effective Teaching Learning for a Well-Rounded Education.” This program seeks to combine support for the “arts, health education, foreign languages, civics and government, history, geography, environmental education, economics and financial literacy, and other subjects,” eliminating direct competition and federal leadership for each subject independently. With each year, the proposed total funding for the consolidated program has decreased and the FY14 request from the White House is a mere $75 million to be shared by all of the subjects. In prior years, the proposal has not been adopted on Capitol Hill, and in spite of the elimination of many other programs, Congress has protected the Arts in Education fund as a distinct program at nearly $25 million. Arts Advocates are asking Congress to provide $30 million to support the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional Updates:

  • Proof of Visa Goes Paperless: The paper card issued to foreign working artists upon arrival to the U.S. is going electronic. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that, beginning April 30 and throughout mid-May, issuance of paper I-94 cards will be phased out at U.S. airports and verification of an individual’s visa status and the length of approved stay will be accessible online at www.cbp.gov/I94. The new site will be up and running on April 30. While information about a visitor’s visa classification will be stamped into his/her passport and be accessible electronically, the I-94 remains the most important form of legal documentation for visa holders upon arrival in the U.S. Beneficiaries are advised to print a hard copy. Learn more about this new development on ArtistsfromAbroad.org.
  • Early Childhood Education and the Arts: After Pre-K received special attention in the President’s State of the Union Address in February with the preview of a new Preschool for All initiative, there has been increased focus given to early childhood education. Next week, the NEA Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development will offer a free webinar at 2 pm EDT on Wednesday, April 17th. Interested participants can register online or check back several days later for the archive.
  • Yo-Yo Ma Makes Case for “Arts for Life’s Sake”: With a compelling combination of remarks and performances, Yo-Yo Ma made the case for the “Arts for Life’s Sake” last week as the featured speaker during national Arts Advocacy Day events in Washington, D.C. (The Performing Arts Alliance was a National Co-Sponsor.) His message and artistry is available to view online.

About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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