NASAA Notes: May 2024

May 1, 2024

Congress Considers Arts Funding for FY2025

As this column goes to press, Congress is finally beginning the process of passing appropriations bills for fiscal year 2025. Its delay in doing so is not due to a lack of interest, but rather the result of the extended time it took Congress and President Biden to reach an agreement on the FY2024 bill.

As you know, that legislation was ultimately enacted in late March, and resulted in the previous year’s National Endowment for the Arts appropriation of $207 million being extended for another year. While we always hope for an increase, there is no question that this was the best possible outcome, given that the House of Representatives started the process last year by proposing a 10% cut. It took Democrats and Republicans working hard behind the scenes, along with strong input from the public—including advocates like you—to overcome that potential reduction.

Though it is still early, I am sorry to report that we expect a similar proposal this year. Meetings with key staff in Congress have indicated that while support for the NEA remains strong—and bipartisan—the House Interior Appropriations Committee is expected to propose a significant reduction in funding for the agency (along with most federal agencies). As a result, we will need to be diligent in our support for the NEA, once again making constructive arguments about why any reduction in funding would negatively impact the country.

As always, the best way to counter such a proposal is by conveying the tangible ways in which a decrease in funding would impact local communities. Through the federal-state partnership in the arts, which allocates 40% of all NEA grant funds to state and jurisdictional arts agencies and regional arts organizations, NEA funding directly supports every congressional district in the United States. As a result, we have the ability to show the real benefits each district experiences as a result of federal support for the arts.

As we prepare for the possibility of a lower funding proposal for the NEA, I encourage you to think about any recent successes or events you can use as examples of the efficacy of federal arts funding, so that when such a proposal is made public we are ready to respond quickly. While I am sorry that we will be in a defensive circumstance again this year, I am bolstered by the incredible efforts made by each of you to be effective champions for the arts. I look forward to working with you again this year.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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