Two weeks ago, we pointed out that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was proposing severe cuts in the budget of the federally funded National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Now, this week the Obama Administration has released their 2013 budget request to Congress, which requests to raise funding to a number of the countries’s cultural agencies and programs, including the NEA.
If the House and Senate listen to Obama’s recommendation, then the NEA’s 2012 budget of $146 million could be raised approximately 5% to $154 million, which would return it (almost) to 2011 funding levels ($155 million).
The Americans for the Arts, which is a nonprofit organization that advocates for arts and arts education, has been a vocal advocate for art funding for decades, and they are asking that arts fans call their representatives to support the Whit House proposal. The organization’s president & CEO Robert Lynch had the following to say in a statement :
“The administration request of $154 million for the National Endowment for the Arts marks a greatly needed increase. Since 2010 the NEA has been cut $22 million, reducing it to $146 million last year, which threatens its ability to make critical grants throughout the country. By boosting specific funding for programmatic grants by $6.75 million, the White House is sending a clear message that it understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and economy and the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries.”
Here is a breakdown of the Obama Administration’s FY 2013 budget request, as compiled by the Americans for the Arts:
|Key Federally Funded Arts Program||FY 2012 Enacted|
|FY 2013 President’s|
|National Endowment for the Arts||$146||$154|
|National Endowment for the Humanities||$146||$154|
|Institute of Museum and Library Services||$232||$232|
|U.S. Dept. of Education’s Arts in Education||$25||$0*|
|Corporation for Public Broadcasting||$445||$445|
The LA Times points out what this all means for two major arts instituions in DC:
The Smithsonian Institution, by far the heavy hitter of federal cultural spending, would receive $856.8 million — a 3.7% hike for its operating budget, which would rise to $660.3 million, and a 12.3% increase in capital expenditures, to $196.5 million. The biggest capital expense would be $85 million, to continue construction on the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The National Gallery of Art is also in line for a nice raise: Obama is calling for a 5.2% increase in its operating budget (to $120 million) and an $8.5-million increase in spending for renovations and repairs, up to $23 million. The total, $143 million, would be an 11.2% increase.
None of this, of course, means that Obama’s proposal will be passed but at least we know where the two candidates stand on federal arts funding. Now there’s the thorny question on whether Romney will eventually become the GOP nominee and where his opponents stand on the same issue. Though if their track records are anything to go by then Newt “Privatize the NEA” Gingrich and Ron “No Government Funding” Paul won’t be any better and may potentially be less friendly towards the NEA than Romney. Rick Santorum, on the other hand, has the potential to surprise us.
*Similar to previous year’s administration budget proposals, the Arts in Education program is consolidated with six non-arts programs. It is unclear at what level grants in arts education will be supported.
Top image via BigStock
As New York braces for a powerful storm, local artists can share their designs for ice sculptures to be constructed and displayed in the island’s new Winter Village.
Join Hyperallergic for an online conversation with cultural organizer and curator La Tanya S. Autry on February 1 at 7pm (EST).
A new exhibition at the National Arts Club in NYC spotlights work from the 1950s and ’60s by the late Abstract Expressionist painter Libbie Mark. Admission is free.
This week, the Tonga eruption as captured from space, Boston gets a big gift of Dutch and Flemish painting, 30 years of New Queer Cinema, an important Marcel Breuer house is demolished, and much more.
Being bowled over by an unknown artist’s first one-person show does not happen often but when it does, it renews your faith that the art world is not just about buzz and hype.
At this free online summit, hear from architects Tadao Ando and Lesley Lokko; artist Himali Singh Soin; author Amitav Ghosh; design studio Formafantasma; and more.
Surrealist images of a Rice Krispies box or Yukon Gold potato explore how data is transformed into the visual language called art.
What is wonderful about the online photography exhibition What Have We Stopped Hiding? is that one is given entrée to the internal monologue of the artists featured in the show.
This immersive video installation utilizes waterscape scenes to speak about concepts such as existence, intimacy, healing, and aquatic ecology.
Self-taught artists were invited to exhibit, and sell, their fuzzy stacks of pancakes and tasseled tapestries.
Our culture seems obsessed with the artist/model relationship, portrayed in countless movies and narratives as a relationship that is lustful and scandalous.
Creator Art Spiegelman said he was “baffled” by the decision and called the school board’s behavior “Orwellian.”