by guest contributor Alex Arad
Photo credit: Janet Donovan
This morning’s release of President Trump’s proposed budget confirmed earlier reports that he is calling for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Creative Coalition strongly opposes this extreme budget proposal and calls on the bipartisan supporters of the arts in Congress to overwhelmingly reject it.
Eliminating funding for the NEA, which represents 0.004 percent of the federal budget, will not even begin to scratch the surface of the nation’s fiscal challenges, but it will have a devastating effect on the ability of many Americans to access the arts in their communities. Sixty-five percent of the NEA’s direct grants go to small and medium-sized arts groups, which are often the only source of arts funding in many rural and underserved communities. Forty percent of NEA-supported activities take place in high poverty neighborhoods. Every dollar invested by the federal government in the NEA leverages $7 from other sources.
Tim Daly and Robin Bronk at a book signing in Washington, DC
“The time has come for all Americans to stand up and call for the Right to Bear Arts™. We must stand up for the right to maintain an imaginative and expressive population. And we must prevent these draconian funding cuts for the NEA from becoming a devastating reality,“said Tim Daly, President of The Creative Coalition. “We cannot afford to dismiss the arts as something expendable, an unnecessary luxury or treat it as something extra, like dessert. The arts must be part of the main course.”
“How does eliminating funding for the arts make America great? It is the arts that remind us what is great about America and inspire us to make our world a better place,” said Robin Bronk, CEO of the Creative Coalition. “Eliminating funding for the NEA will not hurt Broadway or Hollywood, but it hurts small town theaters, museums and community arts organizations. It hurts our wounded warriors who experience the healing power of the arts through their participation in NEA funded creative arts therapies. Without the NEA there will be less creativity, less imagination and less freedom of expression and that hurts all of us.”
A look back: Hollywood on the Potomac sat down with Tim Daly and Robin Bronk to explore the role of arts in our lives. Interviews by Janet Donovan. Filmed and edited by Brendan Kownacki.