Update: What You Can Do Now to Support the NEA

With the federal appropriations process just beginning, it will be some time before we have more information about how President Trump's budget will affect funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). But it's not too early to show your support.

Here's some more information from our advocacy partners the Performing Arts Alliance (PAA):

" The Hill reported on January 19 that President-elect Trump’s budget plans would eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and several other programs and agencies with the goal of reducing federal spending by trillions over the next decade. This is concerning news in the least, but know that this is just the start of the federal appropriations process. While the President's budget is used as one benchmark in House and Senate budget negotiations, each chamber must pass its own spending bills and then come to agreement on total federal spending for each fiscal year. Once spending bills are agreed upon, they may be signed into law by the president."

There is a solid foundation of bipartisan arts advocacy and support for the NEA. You can build on that foundation by strengthening your relationships with lawmakers, and making sure they are aware of the work you do in your communities with the support of NEA funding.

You can find contact information for your lawmakers' local and Capitol Hill offices here. It's especially important to reach out to new (freshmen) members of Congress; see the PAA's list here.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when reaching out:

  • Be sure to identify yourself as a constituent when you call, email, or send a letter. And know that you don't have to travel to Washington DC to have a personal meeting. Legislators are typically in Washington Tuesday through Thursday and are frequently home Friday through Monday and when Congress is in recess.
  • Invite your legislator to attend one of your chorus's performances, and consider asking them to make a brief curtain speech before the performance. 
  • Offer yourself as an arts contact. Let your legislator know that if they have questions about your local or state arts community, you are there to help.

Stay updated on the federal budget's progress and receive calls to action in support of the arts by signing up to receive updates from the PAA.

You can also show your support by signing the nationwide petition created by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund.