Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch offered this statement in response to this afternoon’s House of Representatives vote rejecting an amendment to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities by 15 percent:
“I am very pleased that the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), which would have cut funding to the NEA and NEH by $23 million each – a 15 percent cut to each agency. At 114-297, one of the largest vote margins in support of the NEA and NEH ever, this bipartisan showing and resounding vote is a testament to the good work of the federal agencies and the power of the arts in our communities, schools, lives, and work. There hasn’t been an amendment to cut these agencies since 2011, and we are proud and excited to know publicly, and on the record, just how strongly supported the National Endowments are by our elected officials in Congress.
“This is a result of years of arts advocacy by many partners, artists, and state and local arts leaders who have worked with members of Congress to share the importance of federal support. For example, in just the last three days, we saw 13,000 messages from constituents to congressional offices, and 220,000 in this Congressional session. Furthermore, record numbers of members of Congress signed letters earlier this year calling for a minimum of $155 million for each agency. The fact is advocacy works and is making an impact. I am proud of the work that arts advocates have already accomplished together and the work to come.
“I also thank arts champions Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chairs Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) for standing up against the cuts and speaking out in support for the arts and the Endowments.”