March 1, 2022
NEA Increase Likely When FY2022 Budget Bill Passes
This year has been off to a bit of an odd start in Congress. Despite the same party controlling the House, Senate and White House, an agreement on funding for fiscal year 2022 has proven elusive. As a result, the House and Senate last month passed a short-term continuing resolution, with the hopes that a final agreement can be reached soon.
This is significant for arts advocates because the funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hangs in the balance. As you know, the President requested that Congress increase the agency’s funding level from $167.5 million to $201 million. The House of Representatives matched this number when it passed the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill last summer. While the Senate ultimately did not propose that figure, it also supported increasing funding for the NEA, to $182.5 million. The gulf between these two figures is an example of the types of differences that must be resolved before Congress can pass the FY2022 appropriations bill.
While it is very hard to get clear signals about how the discussions are going, I think the likely outcome is that the Arts Endowment receives the Senate supported number of $182.5 million, which would still be an increase of $15 million over the agency’s current funding level.
Whenever the work on this appropriations bill ends, Congress and we as advocates for the arts will need to immediately pivot to working on the FY2023 bill, which is already behind schedule due to the ongoing work on the FY2022 bill. NASAA has been working with the Cultural Advocacy Group and a smaller subset of organizations to discuss and ultimately suggest a top-line number for the Endowment. In addition to setting this number, we have been in touch with our humanities colleagues to try to ensure that our requests of Congress align with one another.
Beyond appropriations, NASAA will be seeking other opportunities to expand support for the arts and creative industries. There has been discussion about possibly including additional COVID-19 pandemic relief in the upcoming funding bill, and I will let you know if such an opportunity is developing. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss this in more detail.
In this Issue
From the President and CEO
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- Delaware: Arts Equity and Innovation Incubator
- Oklahoma and Tennessee: Advancing Rural Arts Development
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