This week, the House and Senate passed an FY17 omnibus spending bill that includes increased funding for the arts.
The budget allots $149,849,000 to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); this increase is encouraging, as the president's initial budget proposed a $15M cut to the agency for the rest of FY17.
No arts and cultural agencies or programs saw any cuts, and the spending bill also includes increases for Cultural Exchanges-including programs that send U.S. artists abroad, and increases for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which supports out-of-school-time programming that often includes the arts.
Here's some more information from our partner the Performing Arts Alliance.
The president is expected to sign the bill into law this week. FY17 funds support operations and programming through September 30, 2017.
While it's a moment to celebrate this victory for FY17, its important to stay involved in advocacy for the FY18 budget in light of the president's budget outline that recommended zero-funding for the NEA.
This is a great time to strengthen your relationships with your legislators and let them know what issues are important to you. You can speak up for the arts by sending a letter to Congress or set up a personal meeting with your lawmakers during the House or Senate recess.