NASAA Notes: April 2020

April 7, 2020

Congress Eyes New Round of Disaster Relief Funding

Congress is currently out of session, a planned recess to accommodate the Passover and Easter holidays. It is scheduled to return on April 24, and when it does, it is widely believed that the House and Senate will begin negotiating another round of emergency funding to support the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

At NASAA, we are monitoring these developments closely and communicating regularly with members of the House and Senate to give them critical information about the impact of this disaster on artists and arts based organizations in our states, as well as to constructively advise how additional funding could support these hard-hit communities.

As you know, the House and Senate negotiated with President Trump a nearly $2 trillion relief package last month. The bill was intended to provide financial support for the health care sector to support the purchase of critically needed supplies, and for small businesses, low-and-middle income Americans, the unemployed, and industries like airlines and hospitality that have experienced an overwhelming and immediate decline in revenue. Many of these programs can provide much needed relief for artists and arts organizations.

The legislation also provided direct appropriations to the National Endowment for the Arts ($75 million), the National Endowment for the Humanities ($75 million), the Institute of Museum and Library Services ($50 million), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($75 million) and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ($25 million). Important to note that is that Congress also specified that 40% of all grant funds allocated to the Arts Endowment be directed to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.

We appreciate that Congress understands the impact this crisis has had on the arts and culture industry in the United States. Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress to provide reliable data about the impacts we are seeing across the country so that they can make informed decisions. During the negotiation of the previous bill, many of you reached out to me, which was enormously helpful. Moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact me at to share any information or to ask about legislation under consideration in Congress.