NASAA Notes: December 2023

December 5, 2023

Now Is the Time to Urge Support for the NEA

As we reported last month, Congress was able to thwart the potential, yet again, of a government shutdown by passing a short-term funding package that maintains existing funding levels until early 2024. The intention in doing so was to allow more time for the newly elected speaker of the House, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), to negotiate a full-year spending bill with Senate Democrats and President Biden.

As of the publication of this column, it is not clear whether any progress has been made toward reaching that goal. Nevertheless, we at NASAA remain resolute in our efforts to continue to engage with members from both parties to tout the tremendous impact that funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has on communities across the country. You can amplify our efforts by reaching out to your elected officials in Congress to urge them to support robust funding for the NEA in these negotiations. Specifically, we suggest the following:

  • Urge them to support the Senate’s proposal to maintain level funding for the NEA at $207 million. While the President proposed modestly increasing funding to $211 million, in the current environment we recognize that level funding would be a major vote of confidence from Congress, especially since the House proposed reducing the NEA’s budget by 10%.
  • Thank them for their ongoing support for the federal-state partnership, the unique agreement between the NEA and state arts agencies that directs 40% of the federal agency’s grant funding directly to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.
  • Emphasize that public funding for arts and creativity is a high-return investment that benefits every American in every city, town and rural community nationwide. (See Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation for additional talking points.)
  • Use the opportunity to update them about your agency’s efforts to support the community through arts programs and initiatives. If appropriate, invite the member of Congress and their staff to attend an event or exhibit you might be hosting or supporting. These direct interactions really help cement for members of Congress the direct benefits their constituents derive from Congress’s support.

During these challenging and uncertain times, we are deeply grateful for your continued support for the NEA and the federal-state partnership. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have about how to best approach your congressional delegation.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




To receive information regarding updates to our newslettter. Please fill out the form below.