This is the first time in American history that a U.S. President has called for a shut-down on the National Endowment for the Arts. This is an ASSAULT on the Arts that shows no logic or financial gain, but rather a negative impact on Artists, School-Children, Low-Income Areas, Veterans, Seniors and many more Americans.
The $147.9 million budget of the NEA represents just 0.004% (four thousandths of one percent) of the federal budget and the Arts have more than proven to be a positive investment creating jobs that support 4.7 milion wage and salary workers and many more independent jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that arts and culture production contributes more than $704.2 billion to the nation’s economy. This equates to 4.23% of GDP, which is greater than construction ($619.8 billion) or transportation and warehousing ($483.5 billion). Read that again: The Arts and Culture Productions contributes more to the U.S. economy than Construction or Transportation and Warehousing and supports wage, salary and independent jobs.
The following is a statement from the NEA chairman, Jane Chu, on the NEA website:
Today we learned that the President’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every Congressional District in the nation.
We understand that the President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process; as part of that process we are working with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare information they have requested. At this time, the NEA continues to operate as usual and will do so until a new budget is enacted by Congress.
We expect this news to be an active topic of discussion among individuals and organizations that advocate for the arts. As a federal government agency, the NEA cannot engage in advocacy, either directly or indirectly. We will, however, continue our practice of educating about the NEA’s vital role in serving our nation’s communities.