Americans for the Arts Applauds $12.5 Million Increase to Federal Cultural Agencies
Washington, DC — October 30, 2009 — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit for advancing the arts, applauds the commitment of the House and Senate in passing, for the third consecutive year, a significant budget increase for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The FY 2010 Interior Appropriations Bill sets budgets for the two federal grant-making cultural agencies at $167.5 million each, a full $12.5 million above last year’s level. President Obama is set to sign the bill into law by this weekend.
“For nearly 45 years the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded grants to support producing and presenting nonprofit arts organizations across the country in order to enhance the cultural experiences of citizens in communities large and small. NEA funds also support a network of 5,000 local, state, and regional arts agencies that serve as the infrastructure of support for the arts and arts education in America,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “This important budget increase recognizes the essential role the arts play in our lives, schools, and communities. This funding boost also serves as a warm welcome to the new NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman as he kicks off his nationwide ‘Art Works’ tour next week.”
Lynch continued, “President Obama and key Congressional leaders, including House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks, House Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Louise Slaughter and Todd Platts should all be recognized for their commitment and leadership in advancing these federal funding increases for the arts. October marks National Arts and Humanities Month and as the President stated in his proclamation: ‘In neighborhoods and communities across the Nation, the arts and humanities lie at the center of revitalization, inspiring creativity, ideas, and new hope in areas that have gone too long without it.’”
The NEA is currently funded at $155 million. The White House requested it be funded at $161 million for FY 2010. The NEA also received $50 million in funds to support arts workers in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This summer, the House passed a version of the Interior Appropriations bill that included $170 million for the NEA, while the Senate legislation proposed $161.3 million for the agency. The final budget was decided in conference this week. The House passed the conference report bill by a vote of 247 – 178 and the Senate passed it by a vote of 72 – 28.
NEA Annual Appropriations, FY92 to present (in millions of dollars)
Note: Figures above are not adjusted for inflation. Source: NEA
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 49 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
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