June 25, 2012

U.S. House Votes To Cut $14 Million from NEA

On Friday, the U.S House of Representatives Appropriations Interior Subcommittee passed its initial FY 2013 funding legislation and proposed a cut of $14 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This budget proposal is disappointing. The arts community recognizes the challenges our elected leaders face in prioritizing federal resources, but funding for the NEA has already been cut by more than $20 million over the past two years, and this additional reduction is counterintuitive to the national call to help grow jobs and fuel the country's recovery.

Americans for the Arts recently released the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV economic impact report, which provides overwhelming proof that the nonprofit arts industry generates $135.2 billion in economic activity every year and supports 4.13 million FTE jobs annually.

Please take two minutes to send a customizable message to your members of Congress to restore full NEA funding.

Earlier this year, President Obama proposed an increase of $8 million over the current NEA appropriation of $146.3 million to $154.3 million for FY 2013 in contrast with the House Subcommittee mark of $132 million. As the House proposal advances, it is our hope that you will not only call on your U.S. Representative to reject the funding cuts, but also help us build support for the president’s higher level request by contacting your U.S. Senator.

This is just the first step in the process. In the coming weeks, it is expected that the larger House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation followed by the full House of Representatives. Last year, a floor amendment to further weaken the NEA was successfully defeated because of the actions of thousands of grassroots advocates like you. A message from you now registering your concerns with your member of Congress would be well-timed to arrive prior to these next steps in the appropriations process. Thank you for your support of the arts!

We've offered these tips before, but we wanted to offer them again to help guide your communication.

  • You may or may not reach your legislator by phone. That's OK. Leave a message. Your call and support are documented. 
  • As few as three calls or emails to a legislator from his or her district can make a difference in how he or she votes. Your call matters! We cannot emphasize this enough.
  • Be sure to leave your name and contact information.
  • Send brief emails with one or two examples of how arts funding helps you and your community (quality of life, economic development, etc.)
  • If possible, provide specific examples of NEA grant awards, programs, etc.

Remember, when you reach out to your elected officials you are helping them make great decisions about the arts and government. You have the information they need.

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

We also encourage you to express your support to your U.S. Senators from Oklahoma.

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