national endowment for the arts

Funding the National Endowment for the Arts

Background on National Endowment for the Arts Advocacy

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is our nation’s chief supporter of the arts and celebrates the arts as a national priority, critical to America’s future. The arts have the power to transport audiences, unite communities, promote empathy and understanding, and humanize difference. For 50 years, the NEA has provided strategic leadership and investment in the arts through its core grant programs for dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, multidisciplinary arts, music, theater, visual arts, and other programs.

Talking points:

  • Every congressional district has received the benefit of a NEA grant. These grants have supported arts activities for active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and their families; rural communities, and communities with socio-economic challenges.
  • NEA grants have a high return on investment: every $1 of grant funding is matched by almost $9 of private or other non-federal support. NEA investments factor into the arts and culture sector contributing 4.2% to the national GDP, an impressive $729 billion.
  • NEA funds connect communities by supporting partnerships between arts organizations and K-12 schools, colleges, and universities; as well as partnerships between state education agencies and state arts agencies. Approximately 40% of the NEA’s program funds are distributed through state arts agencies.

PAA is asking Congress for $170 million for the NEA in the FY 2021 Interior Appropriations bill. For more information and talking points, see the NEA Advocacy Issue Brief -2020.

What We're Asking For Right Now

We urge Congress to:

Support funding for the NEA in the amount of $170 million in FY21, which would expand access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits the arts provide and advance creativity and innovation in communities across the United States.

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