Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations bills that provides $162.25 million for the National Endowment for the Arts through September 30, 2020. This level of funding represents a compromise between the $167.5 million passed by the House of Representatives this summer and the $157 million agreed to by the Senate Appropriations Committee this fall.
While The Creative Coalition advocated for $167.5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the National Endowment for the Arts during its annual 2019 #RightToBearArts Capitol Hill Day in May, we are still encouraged by today’s show of support for federal arts funding, which amounts to $7.25 million over the current funding level.
Since 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has been bringing the arts to underserved communities where opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, economics, or disability. The organization is the only funder of the arts in America, public or private, that supports the arts in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“The National Endowment for the Arts truly ensures access to the arts for all Americans,” said Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition. “Without the resources of the National Endowment for the Arts, many underserved communities would lose their only access to arts. We thank Congress for beginning to restore funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to the level where it was over a decade ago.”
Tim Daly, Actor and President of The Creative Coalition, said, “Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts strengthen the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. The arts are the lifeblood of society and we appreciate this year’s funding increase which will greatly impact small organizations and rural America.”
The Senate is expected to pass the bill in time for President Trump to sign it before current funding for the federal government expires Friday at midnight.