Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Nolen Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, released this statement in response to Congress’ FY 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill:
“We are very pleased that Congress has recommended a $27 million funding increase each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), bringing them to an all-time budget high of $207 million. This action moves these agencies closer to indexing their funding at $1 per person. Of equal importance is the Congressional report language accompanying this year’s NEA and NEH funding, recommending grantmaking policies to be more equitable and diverse. This report language includes many components of Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) inspiring legislation on Advancing Equity Through the Arts and Humanities.
“We are also happy that Congress directed first-time funding of $10 million to the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence to support clinical creative arts therapies for those serving in the military. An additional $5 million will go to the Department of Veteran Affairs for its Whole Health Initiative.
“Congress also approved over 68 cultural organizations across the country to receive more than $66 million in direct project funding, also known as congressional earmarks. These projects include arts education programs for youth, support for museums, theaters, and performing arts centers, and creative workforce apprenticeship programs. Additional funding increases of $26.8 million were also recommended to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and $10 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”
“Local and state arts agencies, arts organizations, arts unions, and artists played a significant role, as constituents, in contributing towards making this legislation possible. It cannot be overemphasized that the artists, creative workers, and culture bearers they support are the heartbeat of communities across the country. The social power of the arts has the power to unite us. The recommendation of funding at this level enables that.
“We are deeply grateful to the bipartisan and bicameral efforts of members of Congress to support and recognize the value of the arts as a national asset—particularly Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) in the House and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the Senate.”
For tools, resources, and information on how to make the case for the arts and arts education, visit the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Mobilization Center.