State Arts Agencies and NASAA Urge Support for NEA before
House Appropriations Subommittee
March 18, 2015
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
This morning, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which has jurisdiction over the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), held a public hearing to consider the NEA’s budget for fiscal year 2016.
I am pleased to report that NASAA and state arts agencies were well represented at the hearing. First, ArtsWA Executive Director Karen Hanan was invited to testify. In her testimony, she passionately articulated the value of the federal-state partnership and how federal investment in the NEA directly impacts state arts agencies throughout the country. The complete hearing, including Karen’s testimony, will be archived and available to view once it is posted. Many thanks to Karen for making the trip (with assistance from NASAA).
In addition to Karen’s in-person testimony, Ohio Arts Council Chair Jeff Rich submitted testimony, and Interim CEO Kelly Barsdate submitted testimony from NASAA, for the record. Rich’s testimony underscored the value of the NEA to Ohio communities as well as state arts agencies. His remarks cited the economic benefits of the arts as well as the overwhelming citizen support of public funding for the arts. NASAA’s testimony highlighted the effectiveness of combining federal and state funds to serve citizens in rural and urban communities, noting the power of the state-federal partnership to leverage additional local investments.
Upon conclusion of today’s hearing, the committee is expected to begin the process of drafting the NEA’s FY2016 budget, with the hope of having it available for release sometime this spring.