Poetry News

Trump's New Budget Calls for End to NEA (Again)

By Harriet Staff
National Endowment for the Arts, logo

Once again, Trump wants to eliminate the NEA. In a statement, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu writes: "We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals in thousands of communities and in every Congressional District in the nation." More:

In FY 2018 to date, the NEA has awarded 1,134 grants totaling $26.68 million to organizations and individuals in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, launched a national songwriting competition for high school students, convened four summits across the country as part of Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, issued a research report on the economic impact of the arts in rural communities, and distributed emergency funding to arts agencies in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, among other activities.

We understand that the President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process. We stand ready to assist in that process as we continue to operate as usual.

From the Washington Post:

Cultural leaders reacted with a mix of outrage and disappointment.

“It’s sad, illogical and it will be damaging,” said Robert Lynch, president and CEO of the Americans for the Arts. “All the data, everything, points to the fact that investment in the arts industry has been a big win, economically and job-wise. ”

The administration justifies the elimination by saying that the work of the cultural agencies isn’t a core federal responsibility, and that most are supported with private donations. That reasoning comes on the heels of Trump’s State of the Union address, which boasted that “Americans fill the world with art and music,” noted Lynch.

“There’s a disconnect somewhere,” Lynch said. “The federal investment in the arts helps power the creative economy across the country. I’ll use the NEA as an example. It is still the largest single funding source out there, (but) that’s not its real power. Federal investment leverages state, local and private money. It’s a proven stimulator.”

Poets, the deadline for the next NEA Creative Writing Fellowship is in early March. Hop to it!

Originally Published: February 14th, 2018