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An Update on the Federal Budget

An Update on the Federal Budget

Earlier this month, Congress passed and the President signed a $1 trillion spending bill that will fund the government for the remainder of the current federal fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2017 (FFY 2017). You will remember that, just earlier this spring, the President suggested that Congress reduce spending for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $15 million for the current fiscal year. Fortunately, Congress did not take up this suggestion, and, in fact, Congress increased the NEA’s budget from $148 million to $149.8 million. This is a significant statement about the value and bipartisan support for the arts at the federal level.

With this good news, you might think we could take a few moments and bask in the success of a win for the arts at the federal level – but that is not the case. Please be aware that Congress has now turned its focus toward passing a budget for their next federal fiscal year, FFY 2018, which runs from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. In the President’s recommendations for FFY 2018, the NEA has been called out for total elimination. Congressional champions for the arts were successful in protecting the NEA this spring, but given the President’s position, the pressure to reduce funding will be even stronger in FFY 2018.

As is always the case, we urge you to work with arts advocates statewide and across the nation. You can do your part by contacting your elected members of Congress and considering taking the following actions:

  • Thank your member of Congress, and both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators, for supporting the NEA's budget, particularly in this challenging environment.
  • Mention that 40% of the NEA's funding goes directly to the states, including the Ohio Arts Council…
    • …and every federal arts dollar received by the Ohio Arts Council is re-granted and put right back to work in Ohio’s communities.
  • Share that the NEA also makes direct grants to organizations across Ohio, and if you are from one of those organizations—tell your story on the NEA’s impact!
  • As the FFY 2018 federal budget process ramps up, urge your member of Congress and both U.S. Senators to oppose the President's call for elimination of the NEA—and instead ask for an NEA funding increase.

For more resources and information on how you can be an effective arts advocate, get in touch with our state’s arts advocacy organization, Ohio Citizens for the Arts, or get involved at the federal level through Americans for the Arts.

Until next time,

Donna S. Collins

Executive Director



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