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Save the NEA
Update: We're now past the September 30 deadline for FY 2019 appropriations bills to be passed, so the Interior bill which funds the NEA, NEH, and other cultural agencies is operating under a continuing resolution (CR) until December 7, 2018.  Congress will likely vote for final passage of these bills after the midterm elections in November.  

These appropriations bills were reviewed by a bicameral, bipartisan conference in September where select U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives negotiated the differences in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate versions of the bill.  During his opening remarks at this conference, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) said, "This bill includes important increases for the Indian Health Service and the arts and culture programs, including the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities."  Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate versions would provide a $2 million funding increase to both the NEA and NEH, bringing their budgets to $155 million for FY 2019. 

On July 18, the U.S. House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment that would have cut funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by 15% - a $23 million cut to each agency.  The House voted down the Grothman amendment by a vote of 114 - 297!  This bipartisan showing and resounding vote is a testament to the power of the arts in our communities, schools, lives, and careers. We are proud and excited to know publicly, and on the record, just how strongly supported the National Endowments are by our elected officials in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

Previously, on June 6, 2018, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $155 million for FY 2019, a $2 million increase. On June 14th, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee matched that funding increase, also proposing $155 million for the agency in FY 2019.

This proposed funding meets the ask of advocates from Arts Advocacy Day in March!

Additionally, during the House committee's consideration, Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) recommended adding new report language for the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities

The late-Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, before her address to the 2015 Arts Advocacy Day crowd, surrounded by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), former NEH Chairman Bro Adams, and former NEA Chairman Jane Chu (standing).

(NEH) to encourage expanded grant-making activities to honor the leadership and arts advocacy of the late-Rep. Louise M. Slaughter. Rep. Slaughter passed away unexpectedly on March 16, 2018, days after the 31st annual Arts Advocacy Day. She was the founder and co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus for over 20 years.
The incoming Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) thanked Chairman Calvert for including this new report language to the bill, which stated, "The Committee acknowledges and appreciates decades of arts and humanities advocacy by the late Rep. Louise M. Slaughter. In her memory, the Committee encourages NEA and NEH to expand grant-making activities in a manner that honors her advocacy, especially in rural and under-served areas, so more Americans are able to benefit from the economic, social, and educational impacts of the arts and humanities."
Americans for the Arts thanks Chairman Calvert, Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Rep. Pingree for their leadership and work to recognize Rep. Slaughter and support of the agencies to do more. Listen to Rep. Pingree's remarks here!

Check out the video from our Artists Committee members Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kal Penn, Ben Folds, Josh Groban, and Julie Andrews, which has been viewed over 1 million times, and then take two minutes to send your message below. Thank you!

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