With the recent release of a budget proposal from President Trump that would eliminate all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), now is the time to act to #SAVEtheNEA.
The NEA supports choruses and choral music in so many ways - not only through direct grants to choral organizations, but by funding state arts councils and collaborations with community service organizations, schools, senior centers, and other programs that leverage the power of singing together to accomplish amazing things. The NEA has also invested in the choral field by supporting Chorus America for every one of the 40 years of our existence.
It's now up to Congress to decide the future of the NEA - and it's up to us to remind Congress of the value of the arts and the unique role the NEA plays in our nation's cultural life. It's important to remember that the NEA has always had bipartisan support, and that this is just the beginning of what is likely to be a long budget process. With 42.6 million people in this country singing every week, the choral field is a grassroots force like no other. Let's make our voices heard!
On Tuesday, March 21, hundreds of arts advocates came to Washington DC to take part in the best-attended Arts Advocacy Day ever. But you don't need to be in the DC area to take action. Here are five ways you can advocate for the arts.
- Take two minutes to send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose any attempt to eliminate or cut funding to the NEA.
- Ask your singers – and your audiences – to speak out in support of the NEA as well. Make a call to action part of a curtain speech at your next performance, or share information via email or your organization’s Facebook page.
- The most effective form of advocacy is having a personal meeting with your representative - and you don't have to travel to Washington DC to do that! Legislators are typically home Friday through Monday and when Congress is in recess. Find contact information for your legislators’ local offices.
- Stay informed with updates from the Performing Arts Alliance and the Arts Action Fund.
- There is strength in numbers. Sign this petition to President Trump to support the arts, and share the #SAVEtheNEA call to action with your social media networks.