Arts Alert: President Calls for Elimination of NEA.

This morning, President Trump released his executive budget proposal which calls for the elimination of all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the first President to propose elimination of the NEA since it was created in 1965.

This is the very beginning of the budget process. And it’s important to note that the President does not set the federal budget, Congress does. An executive budget proposal is exactly just that, a proposal. But at the same time, the Administration’s proposal can be influential to members of Congress. (For additional coverage, visit Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund)

It’s time to take action and let Congress know that you support the National Endowment for the Arts and the arts across America!

We’ve prepared a message you can send to your Congressmen and Senators via their online message centers. Copy and paste this message into your personal message to your elected officials – and don’t forget to add a personal story!

Click below to go to the online message centers for your Representative and Senator:

Senator Lindsey Graham  |  Senator Tim Scott

Rep. Mark Sanford (SC-1)  |  Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-2)  |  Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-3)  |  Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4)  |  Rep. James Clyburn (SC-6)  |  Rep. Tom Rice (SC-7)

Copy / Paste This Message:

I am writing you today as your constituent to voice my support for the National Endowment for the Arts, and for all of the arts across America.

On March 16, the President released his budget proposal which included a total elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the first executive budget proposal that includes total elimination of the NEA since it was formed in 1965. 

This proposal for elimination of the NEA does not reflect my priorities as your constituent. As the budget process begins in Congress, I would urge you to keep these facts in mind and take every opportunity you may have to support the arts in America.

– Eliminating the NEA will not balance the federal budget. The NEA’s budget represents 0.004% of the total federal budget. The arts also return $22.3 billion in tax revenue to federal, state, county and municipal governments. 

– The NEA’s programs address top policy priorities for lawmakers and citizens alike. The NEA helps fund or partners directly on programs that provide service to veterans and active military members and leading community revitalization efforts across the country.

– Arts and culture contribute $704 billion to the US economy, yielding a $24 billion trade surplus, and representing 4.2% of the entire US GDP according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

– 40% of the NEA’s grant funds ($47 million in FY2017) are allocated to states and regions. These allocations help give more flexibility to states, who match these federal funds, to fund arts initatives that address unique trends and issues across the country. South Carolina receives almost $800,000 from the NEA through this partnership each year.

– Last year, South Carolina received over $1,000,000 in grants from the NEA, spread over every Congressional district.

– A solely private funding model will leave too many communities behind. Philanthropic giving as a whole in the United States is geographically disproportional, with rural areas receiving only 5.5% of foundation grant dollars. In many of our rural counties in South Carolina, there is no sustainable philanthropic infrastructure in place to support the important work that arts play in community development. Public funding for the arts plays an essential role in making sure all American communities get their fair share. 

Please be sure to keep my remarks in mind as you and your colleagues work on the FY2018 budget. I will be monitoring it closely and look forward to seeing you take action in support of the arts.