January 3, 2023
Let's Continue the Momentum for Federal Arts Funding
Members of Congress returned to Washington last week to begin their new term. Unlike the previous two years, which saw the Democrats in control of both legislative chambers and the White House, the Republicans will assume power over the House of Representatives for the first time since 2018.
Single-party control had allowed the Biden administration and Democratic leaders a relatively smooth pathway to enact huge components of their policy agenda. Over the past two years, Congress was able to pass a large stimulus bill, infrastructure legislation, a bill supporting the manufacturing of semiconductor chips and a climate package.
Expectations for similar accomplishments in the next two years are certainly muted. The Republicans, understandably, will attempt to draw policy distinctions from that of the Biden administration, as both sides gear up for the 2024 presidential election.
As advocates, we at NASAA have spent a lot of time thinking about how we can advance policies to support the arts in this new environment. While passing ambitious policy changes may be difficult, there are certainly opportunities to advance issues we care about. In recent years, we have seen steady, if at times modest, increases in funding for important arts programs. Not only has funding for the National Endowment for the Arts increased each year, but so, too, have budget lines for arts education programs and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to name a few of interest to arts advocates.
I am cautiously optimistic that we can continue to see this progress made because of the incredible work done by all of you to make the arts a truly bipartisan issue. In Congress today, we have stellar champions on both sides of the aisle who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that funding for the arts is maintained. This support was the result of a concerted and long-term effort to build relationships with these members.
With the new Congress beginning this week, I ask that you take a moment over the next few weeks to contact your elected officials—whether they are beginning their first term or their 20th—to touch base, reestablish your line of communication and urge them to support funding for the Arts Endowment and the federal-state partnership in the coming year.
This outreach is always hugely valuable, but especially so in a year like this one, where Congress is divided and there are many new members who bring their own priorities to Washington. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this—and if you learn anything interesting from your conversations, please feel free to drop me a note and let me know about it!
In this Issue
From the President and CEO
State to State
- Arkansas: Small Works on Paper Exhibition
- New York: Capital Project Grants
- Alaska: Youth Cultural Heritage Grant Program
The Research Digest
Announcements and Resources
More Notes from NASAASubscribe
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