June 6, 2022
NEA Chair's Testimony to Congress
This week, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson appears before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. While seemingly routine, this appearance by Dr. Jackson is anything but, as it marks the first time in recent history that the chair of the Arts Endowment has been invited to testify before Congress to discuss the agency’s budget.
The hearing also serves as a critical step in introducing Dr. Jackson and her vision for the NEA to members of Congress. This introduction comes at an important time. The Biden administration has requested a fiscal year 2023 increase in funding for the NEA to $203 million. In supporting this ask, the chair endorses the federal-state partnership that allocates 40% of the agency’s funding to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.
While congressional support to fund the NEA remains strong, and bipartisan, there is no question that Congress is facing pressure to address economic concerns posed by inflation and the war in Ukraine. Therefore, we as arts advocates need to remain vigilant and continue to press our case to lawmakers about why federal investment in the arts is so important.
Chairman Jackson’s testimony lays out a cogent argument, highlighting the fact that the federal-state partnership not only allows NEA funding to reach all 435 U.S. congressional districts, but also contributes to economic growth, a well-rounded education and mental health.
If you have not done so yet, this week marks an excellent moment to contact your members of Congress to urge them to support funding the Arts Endowment at at least $203 million. Once the Appropriations Committee hears this testimony, it will finalize its budget level for the NEA for FY2023. Further, while the Senate has not scheduled a hearing to consider the NEA’s budget, we expect that it is also drafting its legislation to be considered this summer.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
In this Issue
From the President and CEO
State to State
- Kansas: Ethnic Markets Initiative: People's Markets Program
- Indiana and Idaho: Partnerships for Expanding Arts Education
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