Congress Issues Report on NEA 2016 Budget

December 22, 2015

From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 15:17

As indicated in last week’s Legislative Alert, the fiscal year 2016 federal budget bill recently signed into law appropriates $147,949,000 to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This represents a $1.9 million increase for the arts agency. As historically has been the case, 40% of the grant funds associated with that increase are set aside for state and regional arts organizations.

Yesterday, the House and Senate appropriations committees released report language accompanying the budget bill. The report contains several provisions of note for state arts agencies:

  • Congress affirms explicit support of the 40% allocation to state arts agencies.
  • Congress praises the NEA’s direct programmatic work in its Healing Arts Partnership program with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
  • The report urges state arts agencies to explore providing arts therapy programs to service members and their families at the local level. This is encouragement, not a requirement.

You may recall that NASAA’s FY2016 action plan, approved by the membership in October, identifies arts and military programs as a key issue area. In the months ahead, NASAA will help your agency consider your options. We will identify and share models of state arts agency practices. We also will provide forums for the exchange of ideas, strategies and guidance on developing programs and partnerships at the state level. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep us apprised of your efforts on this front