House Set to Draft Arts Funding Bill; TAKE ACTION: Contact Your Representatives

House Set to Draft Arts Funding Bill
TAKE ACTION: Contact Your Representatives
Urge NEA Funding at $167.5 Million, Maintain 40% to States

June 24, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 18:11

The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Representatives is scheduled on July 6 to vote on the first draft of a spending bill for fiscal year 2012 to include funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This is a key vote. Action taken by this subcommittee will set the direction for consideration of NEA funding this year in Congress.

If your state is represented by any of the members of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee listed here, please contact them and urge their support for funding at the 2010 level of $167.5 million, and insist that the legislation maintain 40% of ALL program funds for allocation to the states.

Members of Congress from both parties tell us that they need to hear from constituents about the value of federal funding for the arts. This year in particular, when discretionary domestic funding is at high risk from threats to slash funds and eliminate programs, your representatives in Congress need to hear from you urging their support for NEA funding.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your state’s legislators before July 6. Current NEA funding is at $155 million, and the president’s FY2012 budget proposes a cut to $146 million. The administration’s budget also exempts proposed funds for the Our Town initiative from the 40% share of program funds mandated by Congress in 1997 for allocation to state arts agencies.

  • Urge your representatives to set the NEA funding for 2012 at $167.5 million, the same funding level as in 2010.
  • Stipulate that all program funds, including Our Town, be available as mandated for the 40% allocation to state arts agencies.

Maintaining the integrity of the 40% share for the states is extremely important for each state’s ability to fulfill the federal mandate to expand access to the arts in every state. This provision does not affect the overall appropriation to the NEA.

Let your legislators know the importance of NEA funds to assist you in your work of expanding involvement in the arts and promoting cultural opportunities for the citizens of your state, particularly at a time when arts organizations are feeling the effects of the economic downturn.

Over the next week, please contact your state’s representatives by e-mail at or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Members of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, listed here, will vote on July 6 on the first draft of the funding bill providing for the NEA in FY2012. Please make a special effort to ask advocates from your state to contact these legislators if your state’s representative is listed here.

House Interior Subcommittee Members

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Chair
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Ranking Member
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)

Please let me know if you have questions, and send me a note about the response you get from your contacts. Thank you for your interest and support in NASAA’s advocacy action.