Trump Budget Proposes Eliminating All Funding For Libraries, Museums, Public Broadcasting & Arts For 3rd Year
For the third time in three years, the Trump administration has proposed cutting federal funding to the arts, public television and radio, libraries and museums.
“Most of the eliminations and reductions in this volume reflect a continuation of policies proposed in the 2018 and 2019 President’s Budgets that have not yet been enacted by the Congress and highlight the Administration’s efforts to eliminate wasteful or unnecessary spending,” reads the budget document, that was released Monday.
The cuts — totaling $897 million — would effectively shut down the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
In a statement published Feb. 10, the National Endowment for the Humanities acknowledged its potential closure and said it will cover any grants already awarded.
“The White House has requested that Congress appropriate $33.4 million to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the orderly closure of the agency,” the statement reads. “This amount includes funds to meet grants and matching offers awarded prior to October 1, 2020, as well as funds to cover administrative expenses.”
In the past, these grants have supported PBS documentaries, the Mississippi Museum of Art and exhibitions at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
“As NEH awaits Congressional action on the President’s proposed budget, the agency is continuing normal operations and will announce our latest round of FY 2020 awards this spring,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede in the statement.
Last spring, when President Donald Trump last proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the chairman of the NEA explained the importance of the agency during remarks at a public meeting for the National Council on the Arts.
“Investing in the National Endowment for the Arts continues to yield one of the greatest rates of return for the American taxpayer,” said Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “Arts Endowment grants produce a significant return on investment of federal dollars with one dollar of our direct funding leveraging up to nine dollars in private and other public funds.”
Carter continued to explain its economic efficiency: “The end result, over $500 million in matching support on top of our initial investment. And at a time had when our nation faces growing trade imbalances, arts and cultural production stand out, actually providing a trade surplus $25 billion.”
She went on to explain the cultural significance American art has had.
“American art and culture has long been one of our country’s most valuable assets from pioneering musicals like Oklahoma and Carousel to the jazz standards of Count Basi to early rockers like Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, American art carved out a unique place in the cultural fabric of the world,” Carter said.
The 2021 budget proposal lists the cuts in a section titled “Stopping Wasteful and Unnecessary Spending,” which says the endowments should be cut because they “are not considered core Federal responsibilities, and make up only a small fraction of the billions spent each year by arts and humanities nonprofit organizations.”
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