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Trump's budget proposes to eliminate arts agencies, as many feared

President Donald Trump proposed completely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities in his first budget released Thursday.

"$148 million, the National Endowment for the Arts, accounts for 0.004% of the entire federal budget", said Randy Ham, the Executive Director of the Odessa Arts Council, "But the Arts return $22 billion in revenue to federal, state and local economies".

Advocates feel they have a good chance of lobbying Congress to save funding for the endowments, which they say fund programs that offer crucial support to the public education system, help veterans readjust to civilian life and bring arts and culture to small communities. The estimate includes grants from the NEA, NEH and CPB, as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the last of which funnels money to, obviously, museums and libraries.

Trump unveiled a $1.15 trillion budget on Thursday, a far-reaching overhaul of federal government spending that slashes many domestic programs to finance a significant increase in the military and make a down payment on a U.S. -Mexico border wall.

On a practical level, nothing will change for the time being for all these organisations.

Ms. Preuss noted "there's a lot of activity yet" before Congress takes a final vote on any budget.

The cuts Trump has proposed for the National Endowment for the Arts have been getting notice, and Los Angeles arts organizations could be affected. "My mother, the author Robin Morgan, won an NEA endowment when I was a child". That is what pays for the electric bill, that is what pays for upgrades in the equipment. Grants can dictate that their funds be matched dollar for dollar by the organization or that there be a certain amount of time where access to a NEH-funded exhibition is free to the public.

Morgan added: "I'm outraged at this nonsensical attack on American artists, and the arts in general".

That's the state of the arts in the Trump era. This particular leader is no exception. "And I will be on the front lines of that fight". We will, however, continue our practice of educating about the NEA's vital role in serving our nation's communities. Said Portnow: "The modest support that we provide to music and the arts is returned many times over, whether measured in jobs and economic impact, or sheer cultural enrichment and introspection".

Over 200,000 Americans have signed a petition asking Congress to oppose Trump's proposal. "Without support from the National Endowment for the Arts, August Wilson might have remained a short-order cook in St. Paul, Minn., Lin-Manuel Miranda and Wendy Wasserstein's talents might never have been shared with the world", Whiteway said. "The best thing is, with the arts, not only are there incredibly articulate and smart people, but they are so passionate, so everybody has hit the ground running, sending letters to legislators, making phone calls. The President's budget is a preliminary step in a larger process, and we look forward to working with policymakers, the Administration, and our industry allies to protect our country's important arts programmes".

"In my area, there are grants to translate Spanish poetry in Highland Park (for Enriqueta Carrington to translate the poetry of 17th century Mexican poet Juana Ines de la Cruz), at Crossroads (Theatre in New Brunswick) there's a grant for African-American singers and in Perth Amboy there's a grant supporting Latino arts and culture", Pallone said.

Though the funding for those two organizations represent a small part of the federal budget, the endowments provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in support to cultural and arts programs locally through federal and state sources. In comparison to other countries, it is an global embarrassment.

Both organizations' budgets are $296 million combined.



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