The Creative Coalition Calls for U.S. Competitiveness; Advocates for Increased NEA Funding

March 25, 2016 (Washington, DC) – With the upcoming election, the nation’s citizenry has never been more focused on the urgent need for the U.S. to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Drawing upon overwhelming statistics that a strong workforce depends on a generation’s exposure to the arts and arts education, The Creative Coalition President Tim Daly and CEO Robin Bronk jointly submitted testimony earlier this week to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees calling for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Their testimony underscores The Creative Coalition’s mission to advocate for more significant public investment in America’s arts organizations and arts education programs.

Federal funding for the arts provides a strong return on investment. Statistics show that the arts contribute more to the gross domestic product than other economic sectors including construction, mining, travel, and tourism. The arts and cultural sector also runs a trade surplus ($24.1 billion in 2013, according to the NEA) that has been increasing since 2006. On the importance of arts education, according to the NEA, disadvantaged youth who received arts education were three times more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees than students without a similar experience.  

Daly and Bronk’s testimony stressed that there is indisputable data that demonstrates federal funding of the arts is an investment in economic development, “Statistics show that every NEA grant dollar spent will leverage ten more dollars from private and other public funds. Data also indicates that the non-profit arts industry supports 4.13 million jobs in the arts and related industries. The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the NEA have calculated the arts and culture sector’s contributions to the gross domestic product at $698 billion or 4.32 percent.” 

Beyond highlighting the importance of the arts to the United States economy, the testimony also addressed the role of the non-profit “arts ecosystem” that nurtures America’s current and future influencers, mavens, and leaders. “Exposure to the arts is not simply about creating professional and amateur artists. And, it is not just about the economic impact of the arts and entertainment industry. While, these are important contributions, the arts are also about discovering the creative inspiration that allows an individual to reach their full potential. It is about the journey, the creative process invoked, and the inspiration to achieve – no matter what path life takes you.” 

The Creative Coalition will continue its advocacy efforts on April 29, 2016 when it brings a delegation of entertainment industry leaders to Capitol Hill. Participants with others TBA include:

•    Tim Daly (President of The Creative Coalition, Emmy-nominated Actor, “Madam Secretary”)
•    Neve Campbell (Actor, “House of Cards”)
•    Priyanka Chopra (Actor, “Quantico”)
•    Rosario Dawson (Actor, “Daredevil”)
•    Lisa Edelstein (Actor, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”)
•    Natasha Lyonne (Emmy Award-nominated Actor, “Orange Is the New Black”)
•    AnnaLynne McCord (Actor, “90210”)
•    Wendi McLendon-Covey (Actor, “The Goldbergs”)
•    Tyler Posey (Actor, “Teen Wolf”)
•    Emily Ratajkowski (Actor,
Gone Girl)
•    Gabrielle Union (Actor, “Being Mary Jane”)
•    Constance Zimmer (Actor, “UnREAL”)

The group will voice their support for increased funding for the NEA directly to key policy makers. In addition to these efforts, all members of The Creative Coalition and supporters of the arts are encouraged to contact your Senators and Representatives to express support for $155 million for NEA in Fiscal Year 2017. To find the contact information for your elected officials, click HERE for U.S. Senators and HERE for U.S. Representatives.

Contact: Madeline Kelly