Policy and Legislative Updates

Calling All Dance Advocates

Recently, The Hill  reported that then President-Elect Trump would de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and would privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Dance/USA Advocates for the Field

Dance/USA is already on Capitol Hill meeting with Congressional offices and appropriations staff. We are partnering with many national arts service organizations, guiding energy towards support for the NEA and preserving the scope and value of charitable giving incentives.

While in recent years, nonbinding budget proposals have called for de-funding the cultural agencies, Congress has shown great bipartisan support by continuing its support of the agencies. Last year, there were NO AMENDMENTS to eliminate the NEA. In fact, the NEA saw a budget increase in support of arts therapy programs for active duty military and veterans. 

The Fiscal Year 2017 budget is currently funded through a Continuing Resolution. It is unclear how the remainder of this year will be funded, let alone FY18. Congress must still propose and pass a budget for FY18 and President’s budget proposal is expected in the next couple of months.

What Can You Do?

There are concrete steps individuals and organizations can take right now.

1. Call or Write Your Members of Congress
If  your organization is an NEA grant recipient, contacting your lawmakers is important. Tell them how funding from the NEA has supported the arts in your community and made it healthier and more vibrant.*

2. Engage Local Lawmakers in Arts Advocacy
Do you have a strong relationship with your mayor or city council? Work with them to communicate with your Representatives about support for the NEA. Their voices add additional weight to the cause.

3. Share your stories with Dance/USA
Help Dance/USA be better advocate for the field. Take this simple survey to share how NEA funding has supported artists and arts organizations in your community. These stories will arm us for future meetings in Washington, DC.

4. Be Ready to Mobilize
Dance/USA will send out Action Alerts when a response is needed immediately. Timely responses will be important to demonstrate a unified front to Congress. 

*Key Talking Points

Remember, the arts have had strong bipartisan support. Thank your Representatives for their support for the NEA and take a nonpartisan stance in your message. 

  • Continue bi-partisan support with a budget of $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the FY18 Interior Appropriations bill.
  • More than 33 million people attended live arts events through NEA-supported programs.
  • The NEA’s budget is $148 million – just 0.004 percent of the federal and budget and 47 cents per capita.
  • The NEA is the only arts funder in America, public or private, that supports the arts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. In fact, every congressional district benefits from an NEA grant.
  • There is a 10:1 ratio of public and private matching funds to every dollar received from the NEA, far surpassing the required non-federal match of at least 1:1.

Any additional questions about this or other issues, please contact Dance/USA's government affairs office