November 6, 2019
Senate Approves NEA Funding
With less than a month remaining before funding for the federal government expires on November 21, the U.S. Senate took a significant step forward when it passed its first fiscal 2020 spending package last week. Senators voted 84-9 on a $332 billion spending package, which combined four domestic spending bills covering the departments of Agriculture, the Interior (which includes the National Endowment for the Arts [NEA]), Commerce, Justice, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.
In passing this bill, the Senate approved an increase in funding for the arts endowment from its current level of $155 million to $157 million. While NASAA and other arts organizations had been encouraging the Senate to match the House-approved figure of $167.5 million, we are nonetheless extremely appreciative of the bipartisan support the agency received in the Senate throughout the process. Equally important to us at NASAA is that the Senate also affirmed its support for the federal-state partnership, which directs 40% of the NEA’s grant dollars to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.
What happens next is uncertain. Members in the House and Senate think it is unlikely that the two chambers will be able to negotiate differences between their bills before the 21st of this month, so a continuing resolution is being prepared to prevent the government from shutting down.
In the meantime, we at NASAA continue to weigh in with members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee to urge that they select a funding level at or near the House’s figure of $167.5 million. Likewise, if you are represented by a member of one of those Committees (listed below), please feel free to contact them and make the following points:
- Thank them for their support of the NEA’s budget.
- Remind them that 40% of the NEA’s grant funding goes directly to states and regions, and as a result, any increase in funding will positively benefit their state.
- Take the opportunity to update staff about any interesting developments occurring within your agency.
NASAA will be monitoring the negotiations closely and keep you updated as developments occur. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have.
In this Issue
From the President and CEO
State to State
- Rhode Island: Arts and Health Network Artist in Residence Program
- Louisiana: Veterans Songwriting Workshop
- Hawai'i: Young Artists of Hawai'i
Announcements and Resources
Research on Demand
More Notes from NASAASubscribe