By Hannah Harn
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) helps Americans join the arts, but with Trump’s 2018 budget, its funding is at risk. The NEA was established in 1965 and partners with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sectors to support arts education and learning.
The NEA helps to make participation in the arts accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status. As of March 2017, 36 percent of NEA grants went to art groups that reach underserved populations. Without NEA-funded events and workshops, a large percentage of America’s population would never be exposed to the arts.
The NEA can’t advocate for itself as a federal agency, but many people are voicing their concerns. The NEA made a statement after the proposed budget came out on March 16, 2017.
“Today we learned that the President’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts,” NEA Chair Jane Chu said. “We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every Congressional District in the nation.”
Without the NEA, many federally-supported programs, such as creative broadcasts and performances, will lose funding. Without arts education, students are less likely to be successful in school and America’s creative heritage will be lost.
NEA-funded arts initiatives allow all students, regardless of location or socioeconomic status, to express themselves. The NEA offers cultural and creative outlets to many, and our students (our future) will suffer without it.