Rep. Steve Horn (R-CA)

Congressional Arts Leadership
2002

A five-term House Member form California, Representative Horn served as Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus from 1997-2002.  The caucus is a bipartisan organization of 185 Members of Congress that supports the arts through federal initiatives. His leadership played a key role in saving the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) after the agency's funding was slashed nearly in half and it was targeted for elimination. "Without this crucial agency," said Horn, "many would miss the opportunity to experience the delights of an opera, symphony, ballet, or museum. These types of opportunities foster imagination, spark creativity, and broaden future ambitions."

Along with Jane Alexander and Bill Ivey-Chairmen of the Endowment from 1993 to 1997 and from 1998 to 2001, respectively-Congressman Horn and the Arts Caucus helped reshape the Endowment and the debate over federal support for the arts. The resulting re-orientation is reflected in Challenge America, a program that has been widely applauded and that signaled a new access to the arts that focused on community building, arts education programs, youth-at-risk, underserved communities in rural and urban areas, and the preservation of our national heritage.

Congressman Horn and his Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), also engineered the legislative effort that ultimately resulted in Congressional support for budgetary increases of $10 million for the NEA, $3 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and $2 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences for FY2002.

"Steve Horn has been an extraordinary leader on Capitol Hill for the arts," said Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "When he leaves public office at the end of this term, he will leave a legacy that includes nothing less than the preservation of America's federal cultural agencies and broadened access to the arts and humanities for every American."