Proposed Cuts to NEA Getting Worse - Take Action Now

Feb 15, 2011

Proposed Cuts to National Endowment for the Arts Budget are Worst in 16 Years

From Americans for the Arts, Posted February 11, 2011

BREAKING NEWS – Arts Being Cut Further

The situation in the House is getting out of control.

GOP conservative freshmen spurred a revolt last night against House appropriators. Insisting on slashing the current 2011 budget even deeper, they forced the bill to be re-written before it goes to the floor next week. The bill now proposes to reduce funding for arts programs across the country from $167.5 million to $145 million. This would be the biggest cut in 16 years.

Believe me, this is only going to get worse next week. The floor amendments to zero-out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts are around the corner.

Keep the messages to Congress coming to reject arts funding cuts!


Don't delay in contacting your members of Congress to let them know that you are against the proposed arts funding cuts and to let them know why arts funding is important. You can send customized letters in less than two minutes thanks to Americans for the Arts e-advocacy system. Take action now. Alert friends, colleagues, and board members, too. The situation is urgent and is anticipated to worsen.


How the spiral of cuts began in January 2011: Arts advocates were expecting this to happen and it has: the Republican Study Committee has called for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post posits that the proposed cuts to the NEA, NEH and PBS, among other areas signal a new culture war.

Information from Americans for the Arts on the Call to Eliminate the NEA, NEH, and PBS

On January 20, 2011 the conservative policy caucus of the House Republican Conference, known as the Republican Study Committee (RSC),  held a press conference unveiling a budget plan that would set a $2.5 trillion 10-year course of spending reductions . The intention of this proposal is to supplant the current Continuing Resolution for FY11 set to expire on March 4th  of this year and begin the belt-tightening of the federal budget immediately as promised during the last campaign cycle. This proposal is narrowly targeted at the domestic discretionary funding and does not call for cuts to military, entitlement or mandatory spending accounts.
Of the many programs of interest to arts advocates listed for termination are the NEA, NEH, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, arts education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, and Community Development Block Grants. The Senate is slated to have a companion bill in the near future as well.
The RSC is an organizing caucus that voluntarily adheres to a set of principles that is non-binding on the rest of the party and even its own membership. Though influential, it should be noted that while they comprise almost 70% of the Republican Conference, many Republican arts supporters such as Todd Platts (PA) and Interior Chairman Mike Simpson (ID) are not members. A member of the Republican Leadership has already praised the plan but would not comment on its chances of consideration in its current form.

Actions to Take
  • 1. Check the roster list of the RSC to be aware of Members of your state’s delegation  and remain vigilant in voicing your concerns regarding this proposal.

2. Please send a message to your member of Congress in support of the National Endowment for the Arts or arts education at the U.S. Department of Education. 

3. Join the Arts Action Fund of Americans for the Arts.  If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today - it is free to become a member, and the greater the number of members, the louder voice arts advocacy will have. Be counted among the members of the Arts Action Fund as someone committed to support for the arts in the United States.

Image: Created by Mifter, sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Tags: NEA, National Endowment for the Arts, NEH, PBS, Republican Study Committee, Arts Advocacy

Sub Categories

ADVOCACY: NEA / Public Funding for the Arts