House Cuts FY11 NEA Budget by $20.5 Million

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Feb 18, 2011 0 comments

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

By a mere 8 votes in the House of Representatives, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) FY2011 budget was cut down to $124.5 million yesterday-the same level of funding as FY2007.

Rep. Tim Walberg’s (R-MI) amendment passed 217-209, but it wasn’t a case of party line politics as 23 Republicans voted against the measure and 3 Democrats voted in favor of it.

The good news is that the two amendments to eliminate the NEA altogether were introduced, but never offered up for a vote by the sponsors on Thursday. That is a testament to the advocacy efforts  of the arts community and the strong supporters for the arts in the Congress, including Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who gamely handed our Creative Industries maps out to House members on the floor before the vote.

Congress will now be in recess for a week, but then the battle continues as the Senate begins its work on the FY2011 budget.

During this recess, one must-read article for all members of Congress was published earlier this week on Psychology Today magazine’s website. In Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein’s “Artsmarts: Why Cutting Arts Funding is Not a Good Idea," Robert, one of our presenters at our upcoming 2011 Annual Convention, uses quotes from top corporate executives to set the stage for a discussion about his Michigan State University study on the relationship of arts and crafts experiences to scientific and technological innovation. It’s the perfect case for arts funding at the perfect time.

Stay tuned to our website and ARTSblog for more information on the FY 2011 and 2012 budgets over the next few critical weeks.

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