July 22, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Contact Your U.S. Representatives: Register Your Support for the NEA
As early as next Monday evening, the full U.S. House of Representatives will begin votes on amendments to the fiscal year 2012 Interior Appropriations Bill, which includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a $20 million reduction in support for the arts, a 13% reduction from the current funding level of $155 million. This is nearly twice the rate of overall spending cuts for other federal programs in the bill.
The NEA suffered a $12.5 million decrease last year. The cut currently proposed by the House is disproportionate to overall spending reductions, and amendments to reduce NEA spending even further may be offered when this bill comes to a vote.
Please contact your state’s members of the House of Representatives. Tell them to protect the NEA from further spending cuts and to vote no on any proposals to reduce spending below the $135 million proposed in the bill before the House.
As Congress seeks further reductions in spending across the federal budget, it is essential that your elected officials understand the public value of direct federal support for the arts. Given the current economic strain on all funding sources, NEA funding is critical in supporting the work of state arts agencies, arts organizations, and national research and leadership initiatives. See the Advocacy Tools section of NASAA’s website for helpful talking points.
You may reach your state’s representatives by e-mail at http://www3.capwiz.com/mygov/dbq/officials/ or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Thank you for taking action to support advocacy on behalf of federal arts funding.