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Please Take Action NOW!   02.17.11

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has been a great and tireless supporter of the work we do here at SPACES, as well as at hundreds of other organizations nationwide. We must act to preserve all the good the NEA does.

Last week the House Appropriations Committee proposed a cut of $22.5 million to the National Endowment for the Arts' already modest budget. We understand that budgets must be trimmed to assure the fiduciary health of our nation, but the proposed NEA reduction would be the most significant cut to the NEA in almost 20 years.

Wait for it... it is expected that this week, during the House of Representatives debates, a floor vote to eliminate all funding for the NEA will be introduced. The dissolving of the NEA would be crippling to the cultural landscape of our country.

As we strive to remain competitive with the rest of the world, innovation and exploration are our strongest tools—and these tools are supported and fostered by the arts. Thinking and acting creatively is not a luxury, it is an imperative and an innate characteristic of humanity.

Think of how the arts have impacted you—think of the painting or performance you experienced that shifted your perception and enriched your life; consider the film that inspired you; examine the economic impact the arts have on your area. Nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences annually generate $166.2 billion in economic activity, support 5.7 million jobs, and return nearly $30 billion in government tax revenues. (Source: Data and analysis is drawn from the Americans for the Arts Arts Economic Prosperity III study, 2007)

WHAT TO DO:

Call your member of Congress NOW at 202-225-3121 and tell your representative that you oppose any and all amendments to cut NEA funding. This is very easy (it took me 90 seconds) and has a greater impact than email.

Congress is made up of ELECTED officials who represent YOU. Remind them.

To find your representative in Congress, visit http://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml.

Please do not hesitate, the wheels are already in motion.

Image courtesy of NASA
Image courtesy of NASA

Keywords: arts funding, nea
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

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