Thursday, 16 March 2017 05:53
 
 
2016NALAC Logo Color Web 500x144dpi

  

For Immediate Release: March 17, 2017

Contact: Adriana Gallego, agallego@nalac.org, 210.432.3982

 

  

NALAC Statement on Budget Blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018

 

Yesterday, the 45th White House administration released their Budget Blueprint for fiscal year 2018, which includes the elimination of agencies that provide critical services and support to our nation's citizens. The austere cuts that the budget proposes target specific agencies and are part of a much larger framework that threatens to erode our nation's freedom and democratic values.

 

Among the agencies proposed for elimination is the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an agency established via bipartisan Congressional legislation 50 years ago to support the nation's artistic and cultural legacy. This is a significant action against NEA, and would present one of the largest challenges to its existence since its inception. The proposal would eliminate three other cultural agencies, and their total $971 million budgets.  At just 0.004%, the NEA's budget is a small part of the federal budget, and yet every $1 of grant funding by the NEA is matched by almost $9 of private or other non-federal support.

 

The elimination of the NEA will significantly impact communities in every region of the country, including Latino arts and cultural organizations. Communities affected will include not only those which receive direct NEA funding, but also those receiving support from state and local arts agencies supported by the Arts agency. The effects will echo across the nation.

 

Other agencies slated for elimination include the National Endowment for the Humanities;  the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the U.S. African Development Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation;  the United States Institute of Peace; the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; the Northern Border Regional Commission; the Chemical Safety Board; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; the  Inter-American Foundation; the US Trade and Development Agency; the Legal Services Corporation; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for ScholarsThe White House budget also eliminates the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before-and after-school programs as well as summer programs, Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property, and International Education Programs.

 

The proposal of the Budget Blueprint is only the beginning of a long process, and we must unite to advocate for the protection of the NEA and other threatened agencies. NALAC is working with other service organizations to build strong advocacy strategies, and we welcome collaborators and partners around the country to join us. Consider supporting advocacy efforts with the actions and information below.

 

We face a long road ahead. Though the NEA's 2017 operations remain unchanged, and the agency will continue to make grants in 2017 and accept applications for 2018, we must act now. Let's create momentum, stay engaged in resistance, and work collectively across sectors to advocate for support of the NEA and other threatened agencies. Together, we must stay vigilant of the calculated frameworks of nationalism and racism that enshrine the current administration. Organize and mobilize.

 

Actions

  • Talk to your members of Congress. ask them to support arts and culture by continuing the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts in the FY 2017 Interior Appropriations bill. You can reach the U.S. House switchboard operator here: (202)225-3121.
  • Advocate in person. Show up at the local offices of your congress member and let them know the importance of arts and culture to the vitality of your community. 
  • Sign a petition. The Americans for the Arts Action Fund is seeking supporters for their petition to the White House. Sign here.
  • Share your story. We want to hear how the arts have impacted your life and community, and we will share your testimonies with lawmakers. Send us an email at info@nalac.org.  

 

Talking Points

  • NEA grants have a high return on investment. Every $1 of grant funding is matched by almost $9 of private or other non-federal support. NEA investments factor into the arts & culture sector contributing 4.2% to the national GDP, an impressive $730 billion.
  • Supporting the arts is good business. The nonprofit arts sector alone generates $135 billion in annual economic activity and supports over 4 million jobs.
  • The work of the NEA benefits us all. Every congressional district has received the benefit of a NEA grant. These grants have supported arts activities for active-duty service members, veterans and their families, rural communities, communities with socio-economic challenges, and more.
  • NEA funds connect communities. They support partnerships between arts organizations and K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, and they build partnerships between state education agencies and state arts agencies. Approximately 40% of the NEA's program funds are distributed through state arts agencies.
  • The arts represent cultural enrichment. They contribute to education, growth, and development in our communities, and are an important part of our national identity.
  • NEA funding represents only 0.004% of the total federal budget. The NEA's budget is a small part of the federal budget - and has been on the decline since the agency's inception - but arts organizations use it to create tremendous impact.

 

 ###

ABOUT NALAC

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation's premier nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field. In this capacity, NALAC stimulates and facilitates intergenerational dialogues among disciplines, languages, and traditional and contemporary expressions. For 26 years, NALAC has delivered programs that stabilize and revitalize the US Latino arts and cultural sector by providing critical advocacy, funding, networking opportunities, leadership development and professional training for Latino artists and arts organizations in every region of the country.  

 

Read 642 times