President’s Budget Would Shut Down Cultural Agencies

February 13, 2018

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

NEA Eliminated in Trump’s Budget Proposal

Yesterday, the President released his budget for fiscal year 2019, which would move to close the National Endowment for the Arts,* providing only $29 million to take steps to shut down the agency. The President’s budget proposal is just the beginning of a long budget process.

Last year, the president’s budget also called for the elimination of the NEA for FY2018 and even proposed cutting the FY2017 budget. Congress, however, has demonstrated strong bipartisan support, increasing the NEA’s budget in FY2017. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives’ proposed budget for FY2018 includes a mere $5 million cut, and the Senate budget proposal offers level funding.

On Friday, Congress passed a budget that caps topline federal defense and non-defense spending. Appropriators have until March 23 to determine how to allocate this overall spending to the federal agencies for the current fiscal year, which started in October, and has been funded through a series of continuing resolutions.

Dance advocates were very active in 2017, sending thousands of letters to Congress and urging lawmakers to support the NEA and other cultural agencies. Your letters, phone calls and invitations to lawmakers and their staff — which demonstrated the valuable role dance and dancemakers have in our communities — worked. Our advocacy must continue throughout the coming year.

Dance/USA is once again a National Partner for Arts Advocacy Day (March 13), when advocates across the country will urge Congress to appropriate $155 million to the NEA.

Please continue to urge Congress to fund dance and the arts by continuing their strong support of the NEA.


*The president’s budget also proposes: 

  • Termination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  • Elimination of the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • A large reduction in funding to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department, which supports cultural exchange programs abroad.

Thank you for your ongoing advocacy!

To learn more about these and other issues, visit Dance/USA’s advocacy page. And please take a minute to join arts advocates from across the U.S. in urging Congress to support policies and legislation that impact the arts sector. 

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