President Proposes Shutdown Budget for NEA

May 23, 2017

Contact: Johanna Tschebull

Two months after President Trump released a “skinny” budget that proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), along with 19 other federal agencies, the administration today released a full budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 that includes only $29 million for the NEA, which would go toward “necessary expenses to carry out the closure of the National Endowment for the Arts.” This sparse funding would pay for salaries and expenses related to the administration of FY2017 grants.

Since the administration first announced its proposal to eliminate the cultural agencies, the NEA and NEH have received strong bipartisan support. A U.S. House of Representatives “Dear Colleague” letter, authored by the Congressional Arts co-chairs, Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ), urged lawmakers to fund the NEA and NEH at $155 million each for FY2018. The letter received 154 signatures, including 10 signatures from Republican lawmakers.

As a reminder, despite the administration’s recommendation to cut the NEA’s budget by $15 million for the current fiscal year, Congress approved a $2 million increase for the agency for FY2017.

The president’s budget for FY2018 also proposes:

  • $42 million to the National Endowment for the Humanities, $23 million for the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and $30 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to close down the agencies;
  • $285 million to the U.S. Department of State’s educational and cultural exchange programs, a $305 million cut;
  • Elimination of the $27 million Assistance to Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Grants and the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program at the U.S. Department of Education, both of which can support arts education in schools. 

Now that the president’s full budget has been released, the House of Representatives and Senate will move toward releasing their budget resolutions. The NEA released a helpful infographic detailing the long budget process. 

Continued advocacy is key! 

If you live in the district of a lawmaker who serves on the House Budget Committee or the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, we need you to contact your legislators!

Write your lawmakers today and Urge Congress to continue bipartisan support and fund the NEA at $155 million for FY18.


Dance/USA continues to advocate for the field, meeting with Congressional offices and working with national arts organization partners. Find additional talking points about the value of the NEA, as well as other key legislative issues, by visiting Dance/USA’s advocacy page.

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