First Step Happened

May 14, 2019 (Washington, DC) – Today, the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies released its Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Bill, which includes $167.5 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. This level of funding represents a $12.5 million increase over last year’s funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and equals the funding level requested by The Creative Coalition’s delegation during their 2019 #RightToBearArts Capitol Hill Day last week.

During the 2019 #RightToBearArts Capitol Hill Day, members of The Creative Coalition shared personal accounts of the arts’ impact in their lives and shared data to dispel perceptions that federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts supports Hollywood and large, established elite organizations. They emphasized that National Endowment for the Arts funding helps ensure access to the arts for ALL Americans. The majority of National Endowment for the Arts funds go to small organizations and underserved communities. Data from the National Endowment for the Arts shows that its grant funding reaches approximately 25% of the country where the top 1,000 private foundations do not donate.

“Art is not a red issue or a blue issue – it’s a human issue,” said Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition. “We appreciate the Subcommittee acknowledging this by proposing to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The Creative Coalition will continue to advocate for the additional funding and defend the Right to Bear Arts as the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process proceeds.”

“News today of increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts is truly encouraging,” said Tim Daly, Actor and President of The Creative Coalition. “The arts positively impact communities and empower all of us to become more imaginative, more creative and more productive human beings. I am pleased legislators recognize the arts enrich our lives and that they rejected the idea – proposed time and time again – of eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts.”

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to approve the legislation at tomorrow’s markup, restoring the funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts to where it was over a decade ago. The subcommittee markup is the first step in the legislative process. The full House Appropriations Committee will eventually vote on the bill, followed by consideration by the entire House of Representatives. Over the summer, the Senate will proceed with the same process. Any differences between the House and Senate legislation must be resolved before the bill is sent to the President to become law.

Barb Horvath/The Creative Coalition

# # #