Advocate Advocate Advocate
March For the Arts--- April 4th and 5th 2011
“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
–Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts
Prepare for Arts Advocacy Day 2011
March 29, 2011 · By Brandon Gryde,Director of government affairs for Dance/USA and Opera America
Re-printed with permission from Dance/USA e-journal
On April 4 and 5, 2011, approximately 450 artists, arts administrators, philanthropists, and corporations will descend on Washington, D.C., for the 24th Arts Advocacy Day (AAD). Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, this year’s AAD occurs during intense budget debates, as legislators are making crucial spending decisions in an effort to reduce the national debt. Dance/USA, a founding member of the Performing Arts Alliance, is a proud National Co-Sponsor of Arts Advocacy Day.
This year, several key issues are at stake, including funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and Arts in Education programs. Below are some of the key issues that arts advocates will take to their legislators on April 5.
• Support for the NEA. National arts funding has been riding a budget rollercoaster during the past two months. In February, the House Appropriations Committee recommended a 2.5 million cut to the NEA in the FY11 spending bill and, just a week later, passed not only this budget cut but also an additional amendment, offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI-7) to further reduce the NEA budget by 0.6 million. In early March, the Senate released its long-term CR proposal funding the NEA at the current level of 67.5. This proposal did not pass. A three-week continuing resolution was passed by the Senate on Thursday, March 17, that funds the government at current levels through April 8, giving House and Senate leaders additional time to agree on a long-term budget.
However, this is just the beginning. In February, President Obama proposed a 1.3 million cut to the NEA for FY12, which translates to a 46.255 million budget. This reduced funding for the NEA would result in smaller state allocations (which make up 40% of the NEA budget), less money for direct grants, and less money for arts education support. The national arts community will work to maintain NEA funding at FY10 levels by demonstrating that the arts have a positive economic impact on communities; support student engagement; and increase the accessibility to artistic excellence. ( for the complete Dance/USA e-journal article by Brandon Gyrde click here)