March 10, 2021
Today, the House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion relief package, providing another round of emergency aid for communities and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A signature component of the President’s agenda during his first 100 days, the bill provides important provisions for the arts. These include $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (and explicit support for the federal-state partnership) and $1.35 billion more for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, as well as significant non-arts-specific support, including providing stimulus checks to many individuals and families, an extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and $350 billion in aid to state and local governments.
It is important to note that the appropriation to the Arts Endowment is unrelated to the fiscal year 2022 budget process, which we expect to begin in the next few weeks. With the relief bill now law, Congress and President Biden are expected to turn their attention to yet another stimulus package, this one focused on infrastructure, as a means of further spurring the economy. As work around this bill begins to unfold, NASAA will monitor the situation closely, working with Congress and the Biden administration to cultivate additional pathways to support the arts during this difficult time.