NASAA Notes: November 2021

November 1, 2021

Advocate for FY2022 Federal Arts Budget

While most of Washington’s focus at the moment is centered upon the President’s visit to Glasgow for the U.N. Climate Conference and the ongoing negotiations around the Build Back Better Act, members of the House and Senate are quietly negotiating a large fiscal package that will include funding for every federal agency for the remainder of fiscal year 2022. This work is aimed at getting legislation finalized on or before December 3, when current funding is set to expire.

There are a lot of sensitive issues being discussed, but the focal point for arts advocates is the funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which received $167.5 million in last year’s appropriations bill. At issue is the discrepancy between the FY2022 proposals put forth by the House of Representatives, which has suggested $201 million for the Endowment, and the Senate level of $182.5 million.

While we are deeply appreciative of the fact that both chambers have endorsed meaningful increases in funding for the NEA, the fact remains that the decision will be made this month about which number to use in the legislation—and it is incumbent on arts advocates to convey to the Senate that meeting the House’s request would be the in the public’s best interest.

Therefore, if you have not done so already, please consider contacting your senators to express the following:

  1. Thank them for the continued support for the National Endowment for the Arts and state arts agencies.
  2. Acknowledge the significant increase proposed by the committee, but note that the House has passed an even higher amount ($201 million), and encourage the senator to support funding the Arts Endowment at that amount.
  3. In suggesting this increase, underscore that public funding for the arts and creativity is a high-return investment that strengthens every city, town and rural community nationwide.
  4. In suggesting this increase, share an exciting program or event being led by your agency, and mention that due to the federal-state partnership, 40% of the Endowment’s grant funding goes directly to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.

Given the difficult state of the economy today, members of Congress have hard decisions they must make as they finalize the FY2022 appropriations bill. Reaching out to your congressional delegation helps each office understand that federal funding for the arts is valued by their constituents. We know that the decisions are being made right now, and your outreach can help make a difference!

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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