News Worms
News Worms


Stefanik opposes Trump plan to eliminate National Endowment for the Arts funding

In Trump's first proposed budget as president, massive cuts and eliminations would be made to several public programs that support arts education, including the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

We got the actor at LAX Thursday, where he broke his usual silence by telling our photog funding the arts is vital and doesn't really have an impact on the national budget.

Though the funding for those two organizations represent a small part of the federal budget, the endowments provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in support to cultural and arts programs locally through federal and state sources.

Trump's budget proposal does not just slash funding for the endowments, which combined have an annual budget of about $300 million, but is the first of any Presidents' to propose completely eliminating them.

The spending outline is what White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney calls a "hard-power budget", with spending increases for defense and homeland security at the expense of many other programs in the discretionary part of the budget.

With Trump's call to eliminate the endowments looming, advocates are mobilizing their members to call their Congressional representatives and urge them to support the arts and humanities.

About 100,000 students a day attend Beyond the Bell programs, said Alvaro Cortes, the executive director of the program.

Money from the NEA and NEH finds its way to Wisconsin to help fuel the state's arts scene and enrich its cultural life.

Last fall the National Endowment for the Arts awarded nearly a million dollars in grants to 34 arts groups across the state, large and small.

"Ninety percent of our funding comes from the NEH".

Groups say they can leverage an NEA grant nine times. The amount of grants varies from year to year, depending on what projects and presentations the arts venues are developing.

"We're not going to drop like a wet rock out of the sky tomorrow", says Kitchener. "It doesn't seem like a move to save money so much as an ideological statement about what he thinks is important in our society and our country", said Steve Collins, executive director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. "They are the earliest dollars, but sometimes the earliest dollars are the 'confidence dollars, ' and have given us success in philanthropy otherwise", said Tom Loughman, CEO of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. The NEA has often come under scrutiny for funding controversial artwork such as Andres Serrano's photograph "Piss Christ" (1987) and Robert Gober's color print "Genital Wallpaper" (1989).

Opera for the Young, a program that goes into Madison-area schools, has received $77,000 directly from the NEA since 2013. Proponents of the proposed cuts have said that the proposed elimination of the agencies will open the door to a freer arts market that forces artists to produce works that speak to local audiences, rather than to bureaucrats in Washington.

Congress has considered proposals to kill federal arts and culture funding before, and rejected them.

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