Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to H.R. 1, the appropriations continuing resolution, which severely reduces current year funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The vote added an additional $20.5 million cut on top of an already underlying $22.5 million reduction. If the U.S. House completes its work on this appropriations legislation today, the NEA's FY 2011 budget will have been reduced from $167.5 million to $124.5 million - a cut of 26% and the deepest cut to the NEA in 16 years.
Citizens for the Arts and Americans for the Arts is asking that you do the following:
Congress will begin a 10-day recess on February 18. When they return, the U.S. Senate will begin consideration of their own version of the FY 2011 funding legislation as early as February 28. While members of Congress are back home in their districts, we encourage you to inform your local media about the devastating impact the House appropriations bill would have on the arts in your community. Americans for the Arts has set up a Media Alert through their E-Advocacy Center to help you quickly and efficiently send your opinions to the local radio, TV, and newspaper stations in your area. They've already matched up the media contacts for you based on your zip code. You just need to customize the article's talking points and hit send.
We need the Senate to reverse the potentially devastating effects that could be caused on the arts that the FY 2011 appropriations bill passed by the House today. The customizable Media Alert is a fast and easy way to communicate your support for the NEA to local media outlets and help show your U.S. Senators why the NEA is an important grant-making agency in your state.
Please use this next week to write letters to the editor or op-ed pieces about this devastating cut. Don't stop with your letter - ask board members, friends and family to do the same.