Contact Your State Senator in Support for Funding for the Arts

by Jenny Hershour, Citizens For The Arts in PA

Contact Your PA State Senator in Support for Funding for the Arts

The PA Senate Appropriations Committee is currently considering a budget bill for FY 2017-18.  The bill sent to the Senate by the House of Representatives (HB 218) does not include funding for Grants to the Arts (through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts) or Cultural and Historical Support through the PA Historical and Museum Commission. The Senate may amend the House bill or draft their own budget bill.

Here’s where you come in – Citizens for the Arts in PA is asking you to call (not email) your state senator and ask him/her to support a budget bill that includes the following:

  • $9.59 million for Grants to the Arts
  • $2 million for Cultural and Historical Support under PHMC
  • Contact Sen. Pat Browne or Sen. Vincent Hughes to ask them to include these line items in the budget bill that will come out of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Citizens has developed a phone script for your use along with instructions on how to locate your state senator’s phone number.  If you need help in locating that number, please contact Jenny Hershour at either [email protected] or at 717-234-0959. The call should not take any longer than 2 minutes.  If we don’t generate enough support for these line items, they may not be included in the budget for FY 2017-18.  This would mean there would be NO ARTS GRANTS for next year.

As a reminder, the budget bill, constitutionally, must be passed and signed into law by June 30.  Please make that call to your state senator.


White House Releases Full 2018 Budget – Proposes Elimination of NEA

The Trump administration released its complete budget request for FY 2018 yesterday.  The release retains Trump’s request to terminate the federal cultural grant-making institutions, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Also slated for elimination is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and  Assistance for Arts Education.
The White House does not determine how federal dollars are spent.  Congress has the responsibility to fund programs and agencies.  It is important that you reach out to both your congressman and both US. Senators to urge them to oppose the elimination of the federal cultural agencies in the federal FY 2018 budget.  You can locate email information for the PA Congressional delegation by clicking here and entering your zip code in the box marked “Find Officials.”  Below is a chart that contains the White House budget requests for the cultural agencies:

Federally Funded Arts
FY 2016
Enacted Appropriations
(in millions)
FY 2017
Enacted Appropriations
(in millions)
White House’s FY 2018
Budget Proposal
(in millions)
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) $148 $150 $29
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) $148 $150 $42
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) $230 $231 $23
Assistance for Arts Education (through the US Dept. of Ed) $27 $27 $0
Student Support & Academic Enrichment Grants (Well-Rounded Education – new grants authorized under ESSA)  – $400 $0
21st Century Community Learning Centers $1,140 $1,190 $0
Corporation for Public Broadcasting $445 (advanced) $445 (advanced) $30
FY 19 cancelled
Office of Museum Services $31 $32 $0
Save America’s Treasures $0 $5 $0
Educational & Cultural Exchange (US Dept. of State) $590 $634 $285
Smithsonian Institution $840 $863 $947
US Holocaust Memorial Museum $54 $57 $54
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $36 $36 $36.7
Commission of Fine Arts $2.65 $2.8 $2.6
National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs $2 $2 $0
National Gallery of Art $148 $155.5 $147

Source:  Americans for the Arts

The third column includes some funding for the NEA but that is to “conduct and orderly closeout of the agency beginning fiscal year 2018.  We will keep you updated as the process goes through Congress

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