NASAA Notes: July 2023

July 5, 2023

Connect with Congress This Summer

As Congress settles in for the July 4th holiday this week, major questions and uncertainty continue to swirl regarding the pathway forward for federal funding for all domestic spending programs. The agreement reached last month to suspend the debt limit put in place spending levels for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. While that agreement was supposed to lead to a somewhat seamless appropriations process, already there is evidence of fracturing, as initial budget proposals released by the House appropriations committees have come in well under the agreed-upon figures.

When Congress returns to session next week, it will face increasing scrutiny and pressure to reach an agreement. Already, both the House and Senate are significantly behind schedule if there is any hope of passing a budget before the current fiscal year ends. The growing discord between the House and Senate over whether to adhere to the budget agreement is expected to intensify, and could put Congress and President Biden on a course for a significant standoff in September. The best outcome at this point appears to be the passage of a short-term continuing resolution, which would extend current funding levels until a longer-term agreement can be reached.

At NASAA, we continue to engage members of Congress from both parties to urge support for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and other arts programs. In this unquestionably difficult environment, we still get feedback from the offices with whom we meet that staying in touch, and continuing to express the value and return on investment the government yields from supporting the arts, are important contributions to the appropriations process. These actions provide our champions on Capitol Hill with the information and context they need to fight for the highest possible funding level for the NEA.

Therefore, this is an excellent time to touch base with your members of Congress to urge that they support the Arts Endowment. In addition, I want to flag that the annual August recess, when members of Congress spend almost all of the month away from D.C. and in their home states, is an ideal time to invite them to visit your offices or attend a particular program or event you are supporting. Use this opportunity to help draw the direct line from NEA funding to their local community. Despite our continual emphasis, it is still not widely understood or appreciated that, due to the federal-state partnership, 40% of all grant funding allocated to the NEA is rerouted to state and jurisdictional arts agencies and regional arts organizations, supporting grants in every congressional district. These in-person visits are a great way to drive this point home.

If you have any questions about how to go about setting up such a visit, please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone at NASAA. We are here to help you think through the best way to make a strong connection this summer!

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.