So far, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have failed to compromise in order to finalize a FY11 budget. There have been three short-term Continuing Resolutions (CR) passed in order to avoid a federal government shutdown. The current CR expires on April 8, and it is possible that Congress will pass yet another short-term CR.
The House passed a long-term CR – H.R.1, which would fund the federal government through the remainder of FY11 at drastically reduced levels -- the NEA is cut $43.1 million in that bill, arts education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are eliminated. The Senate has not yet passed a spending bill for the remainder of this fiscal year.
Arts Advocacy Day is an important opportunity to have our voices heard and to let congressional leaders know that the arts are important. Grants from the NEA create and keep jobs, widen citizen access to the cultural, educational and economic benefits of the arts and advance creativity and innovation in communities across the United States. The arts are an economic engine for development and a priority for every American.
Action: Visit the Performing Arts Alliance website on Tuesday, April 5, Arts Advocacy Day, to urge your elected officials to support the arts. In order to make a difference, there will have to be an outcry from the field calling for the Senate’s leadership in maintaining funding levels for our nation’s arts agency.