July 6, 2011

National Endowment faces major budget cuts tomorrow

From the National Association of State Arts Agencies

In advance of the scheduled markup session of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives set for July 7, documents have been posted with the draft fiscal year 2012 Interior Appropriations Bill setting spending for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $135 million, a decrease of $20 million from FY2011 funding that puts the arts appropriation somewhere between levels last seen in 2007 and 2008.

There are no details yet on how the Subcommittee intends to treat the issue of guaranteeing that states receive the mandated allocation of 40 percent of the NEA's program funds. The administration had proposed holding $5 million for the Our Town initiative exempt from the allocation to state arts agencies. More details on the bill and the committee's position will become available after the markup session.

About 20 percent of the Oklahoma Arts Council's funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Please follow U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) on Twitter and tell him how much the arts impact the economy in Oklahoma, and how grant dollars provided by OAC and the NEA invite and court private investment.

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The following is a note posted on Facebook in February 2011 by W. Jerome Stevenson, Artistic Director of the Pollard Theatre, Guthrie, Oklahoma. He was writing to U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) highlighting how much public funding for the arts helps his arts organization and town.

Stevenson wrote:
In Oklahoma alone, the Arts are a $314 Million dollar industry, hiring more than 10,000 people. In the Historic Capital of Guthrie, the Pollard Theatre generates 4 to 5 times our ticket sales in patron purchases of food, lodging and shopping. We receive about $50,000 from the Oklahoma Arts Council - $10,000 of which represents NEA funds - and leverage that into more than $1.25 Million local economic impact! Please Support the Arts in Oklahoma!
You can write your Senators and Representatives, too.

Senator Jim Inhofe
453 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Inhofe's Contact Form

Senator Tom Coburn
72 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Coburn's Contact Form

Rep. John Sullivan (R-01)
(202) 225-2211
Sullivan’s Contact Form

Rep. Dan Boren (D-02)
(202) 225-2701
Boren’s Contact Form

Rep. Frank Lucas (R-03)
(202) 225-5565
Lucas’s Contact Form

Rep. Tom Cole (R-04)
(202) 225-6165
Cole’s Contact Form

Rep. James Lankford (R-05)
(202) 225-2132
Lankford’s Contact Form