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Headline of Week Archives

2013  

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of Senate Education Committee, to Retire 

01-28-2013: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced this week that he will not seek reelection in 2014. Sen. Harkin currently serves as the Chairman of Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and is the most senior education policymaker and appropriator. In the past, he has repeatedly joined with Americans for the Arts in supporting arts education measures on several occasions. Read his retirement announcement.

Leadership Changes for Senate Education Committee

01-21-2013: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has been elected to the position of Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over education issues including reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Sen. Alexander has been supportive of arts education in the past calling on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a study on access to music and arts education in the American public school system since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act.

National Arts Advocacy Day Registration Open

01-14-2013: Dates: April 8–9, 2013. The 113th Congress has just been sworn in and will dive into debates over reducing the federal deficit through program cuts and revenue raisers that could detrimentally impact nonprofit arts organizations. It is imperative that arts advocates work together to help educate members of Congress about the role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation. Register now! If you are a national or regional organization, register now and join our legislative planning committee as we discuss the latest issues to be included in the Congressional Arts Handbook. Contact Government Affairs Manager Natalie Shoop at nshoop@artsusa.org now to participate!

Impact of Fiscal Cliff Tax Legislation Enacted into Law

01-07-2013: Americans for the Arts is pleased that the "American Taxpayer Relief Act" avoided specifically eliminating, capping, or reducing the value of tax deductions that support nonprofit arts organizations. A summary of the legislation’s tax provisions is posted on the Americans for the Arts ARTSBlog, including more information on extending the IRA Charitable Rollover, another key tax issue we supported. We remain concerned that the threat to capping charitable deductions will be back on the table again during the next round of negotiations involving the sequestration spending cuts and raising the debt ceiling limit.

 

2012                     

Americans for the Arts Action Fund Participates in "Preserve Giving-DC" Day on Capitol Hill

12-10-2012: On December 5, Americans for the Arts Action Fund joined over 250 coalition members representing the diversity of the charitable sector in asking Members of Congress and President Obama to preserve the charitable deduction by meeting with congressional leaders on "Preserve Giving – DC" Day. Debates over looming scheduled tax increases and major federal spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" have renewed troubling proposals that seek to reduce, in value, or eliminate traditional tax incentives to charity. Coalition partners carried the message that now is not the time to disincentive charitable contributions as nonprofits generate $1.1 trillion in important human services including providing access to the arts and culture.

Rocco Landesman to Retire as NEA Chair

12-03-2012: Rocco Landesman confirmed his plans to step down as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts at the end of the calendar year. Read the statement from Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch here.

FY 2013 Appropriations Omnibus Bill Still Possible

11-26-2012: While the government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) level funding agencies until March 2013, committee staff on Capitol Hill are working to prepare an omnibus appropriations bill. Talks surrounding the fiscal cliff debates have left 2013 funding circumstances uncertain, however, legislators are making a new push to work out appropriations issues in an omnibus bill so they can release disaster aid to in relief of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Read more about the process here.

Fiscal Cliff Discussions Likely to Include Charitable Deduction

11-19-2012: President Obama and congressional leaders have begun discussions on the tax increases and spending reductions set to take effect in January. One proposal that seems to be gaining support on both sides of the aisle is a cap on itemized deductions for either all taxpayers or only those in the higher income tax brackets. Americans for the Arts is monitoring the effects these proposals could have on all nonprofit arts organizations. Write your members of Congress about this issue here.

Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund Release Election Impact Statement on the Arts

11-12-2012: Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch released a statement on the Election Day results and what they mean for the arts. Read and share the full statement. For further election analysis, sign up for the webinar on Friday, November 16.

Americans for the Arts Action Fund Government Affairs Staff to Present Post-Election Webinar

11-05-2012: The Government Affairs staff of Americans for the Arts Action Fund will present a 2012 Post-Election Analysis on the Arts Webinar on November 16 at 2:00 pm EST/11:00 am PST. In this webinar, they will provide a comprehensive analysis of federal, state and local election results and ballot initiatives, and what impact those results will have on the future of the arts and arts education. Find more information or register online here.

Presidential Campaigns Raise Charitable Deduction Impacting Nonprofit Arts

10-22-2012: Policy details have surfaced regarding potential changes to the tax code that may impact the arts. GOP candidate Mitt Romney made remarks to the press and in the October 3 presidential debate suggesting a limitation on itemized deductions like the charitable deduction from as much as $50,000 to as little as $17,000. He also left open the possibility that higher income households could see an even narrower cap on deductibility or possibly its elimination. Currently, a sizable majority of those higher income households donate more than $50,000. Gov. Romney argued that this type of restriction would enable a tax cut for all income groups as part of comprehensive tax reform. Nonprofit arts groups and other charitable organizations rely on individual donors and critical incentives to giving like the charitable deduction. In initial analysis, the deduction's value would be severely hampered by this proposal. At this time, the Romney campaign has not published details of the plan. Americans for the Arts continues to work with a wide range of charitable organizations and Independent Sector to encourage preservation of giving incentives.

Urge Congress to Preserve Charitable Giving Incentives 

10-08-2012: Comprehensive tax reform has been one of the central issues Congress has said they want to resolve during the lame duck session after the election. While the result of the election will have an effect on the charitable deduction's policy direction, the lame duck session promises to be fast-paced with precious little time for constituents and advocates to express their opinions. Please take the opportunity during this recess to urge your member of Congress to preserve charitable incentives.

U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Release Draft FY 2013 Bill

10-01-2012: The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has released their draft FY 2013 funding legislation, which includes $154.255 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. This funding matches the level set in President Obama's budget request, and is higher than the $132 million proposed by their counterparts on the U.S. House of Representatives Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. Read more information in the subcommittee's press release.

Congress Recesses Until After November Election

09-24-2012: The U.S. Congress has recessed until after the November elections so that members can return to their home districts to campaign. They will come back after the election for a "lame duck" session, when they will try to tackle a backlog of unfinished business. Before they recessed, the Senate passed the Continuing Resolution that will avoid a shutdown and keep government agencies and programs operating until March 27, 2013. The House had passed this bill on September 13 and President Obama is expected to sign it later this week.

OMB Sequester Report Confirms 8.2% Cut to NEA

09-17-2012: The White House released the Office of Management and Budget's report on the impact of the automatic spending cuts set to begin in January. The report confirms that $12 million each would be cut from NEA and NEH (8.2 percent). The report calls for any changes to the sequester law to be a "balanced plan" and that the sequester would be "deeply destructive" to national security, domestic investments and core government functions. Read the full report here [PDF].

Celebrate National Arts Education Week, September 9-15

09-10-2012: As declared by the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2010, the second Sunday of September marks the beginning of National Arts in Education Week. Americans for the Arts is celebrating by hosting a Blog Salon on arts education and the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Read, share, and join in the discussion as 15 education and arts education experts tackle the topic in posts published throughout the week.

ArtsVote to Hold Events at Republican National Convention

08-27-2012: As a part of the ArtsVote2012 national initiative, which is geared toward ensuring that the arts impact federal elections, the Americans for the Arts Action Fund will be hosting a panel discussion on the future of arts and arts education in America at the Republican National Convention. Speakers include former New York Yankee and Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Bernie Williams and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA). Visit the event page for more information.

Stopgap Measure to Fund Government Agencies Including the NEA Until March

08-20-2012: Before heading back to their districts for the August recess, Congress agreed to a stopgap funding measure called a Continuing Resolution that would keep the government running until March. This measure was put in place to avoid a showdown over a potential government shutdown before the election season as lawmakers have not yet finalized any of the 13 yearly spending bills, and the new fiscal year starts October 1. It is expected that cultural agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts will be funded close to their FY 2012 levels until a final agreement can be reached.

Congress in Recess for August

08-06-2012: Congress has recessed for its summer district work period for the month of August. Members will return on Monday, September 10 to continue work on appropriations legislation for FY 2013, including funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

U.S. House Subcommittee Proposes Termination of Arts Education Program

07-23-2012: The U.S. House subcommittee that funds the U.S. Department of Education met last week to consider their FY 2013 appropriations bill and proposed termination of the Arts in Education program as they have in previous years. While further movement on this legislation is not expected until later this fall, write your legislators in support of arts education.

U.S. House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Scheduled to Meet this Week 

07-16-2012: The U.S. House subcommittee that funds the U.S. Dept of Education is scheduled to consider their FY 2013 appropriations bill this Wednesday, July 18. As the subcommittee has done in previous years, we expect them to terminate the Arts in Education program. While further movement on this legislation is not expected until later this Fall, write your legislators in support of arts education here.

Transportation Bill Eliminates Federal Public Art Support 

07-09-2012: Congress has passed a two-year reauthorization of federal transportation programs, including revised language impacting the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program, which since 1991 has supported public art, design, historic preservation, museums, and landscaping. Under the new legislation, the TE program is re-named Transportation Alternatives and consolidates the current 12 eligible activity categories into six and removes public art as a specific eligible activity—making it no longer eligible to receive federal funds. The only remaining arts-related TE eligibility is for historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities. For further background on the TE program and our advocacy efforts, please see this blog post on the subject from November 2011.

House Appropriations Committee Passes $132 Million for NEA

 07-02-2012: Last week, the full House Committee on Appropriations passed the FY 2013 Interior Subcommittee legislation, which includes $132 million each for the NEA and NEH. This is the same level passed by the subcommittee in the previous week. The next step in the process is for the bill to come to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

House Subcommittee Recommends 10% Cut to NEA 

06-25-2012: Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies passed its initial FY 2013 funding legislation with a cut of $14 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Subcommittee, which has funding jurisdiction over the NEA, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and other cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian, is recommending a 10 percent decrease compared to last year’s level of $146.3 million. The U.S. Senate has not yet considered its version of the spending legislation. Write your legislators about this issue here!

$26.5 million included for Arts in Education Programs in Senate Bill 

06-18-2012: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill last week, which includes $26.5 million for the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The USDE is currently administering approximately $25 million in AIE funds in FY 2012. The U.S. House of Representatives has taken no action on its funding bills yet.

Enormous Workload Expected in Congress This Fall

06-04-2012: With so much unfinished business piling up before the elections, the U.S. Congress is projected to have a large workload when they reconvene for a "Lame Duck" session after the elections. Read more about the process and the potential impact on the arts in this ARTSblog post.

Two Senators Join Senate Cultural Caucus

 05-21-2012: Senators Al Fraken (D-MN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have joined the Senate Cultural Caucus bringing the total number of members to 37. The Caucus is currently co-chaired by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

Artist-Museum Partnership Act Gains 18 Cosponsors 

05-07-2012: Since National Arts Advocacy Day on April 16-17, a key piece of arts legislation has seen an increase in cosponsors.  The bipartisan Artist-Museum Partnership Act, which would allow artists to take a fair-market value deduction for their donated works, now has a total of 33 cosponsors. This total has increased since Arts Advocacy Day, where this legislation was included in the action items grassroots advocates asked their members of Congress to sponsor. 

Americans for the Arts Provides Testimony to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee 

04-30-2012: Americans for the Arts has submitted testimony to the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee chaired by Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as part of the annual funding process.  Read the full testimony.

Sen. Tom Harkin Releases Arts and Arts Education Statement on Senate Floor 

04-23-2012: In honor of Arts Advocacy Day on April 17, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) delivered a statement in support of the arts and arts education on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Read the full statement here.

National Arts Advocacy Day on Tuesday 

04-16-2012: National Arts Advocacy Day is April 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country will come together in support of the arts and arts education. Ovation CEO Charles Segars and actor Hill Harper are honorary co-chairs of the event. If you are not able to attend, you can follow the action at #AAD12 on Twitter.

Secretary Arne Duncan to Appear Before U.S. House Education Committee this Week

03-26-2012: Education Secretary Arne Duncan is scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee on March 28. We expect that he will discuss issues related to well-rounded education that could include arts education. Watch the live webcast here.

NEA Appropriations Cycle Begins with Americans for the Arts Witness 

03-19-2012: With the release of President Obama's budget this past February, the House of Representatives is set to officially start the FY 2013 appropriations process in earnest. Congressional hearings in the 13 separate subcommittees will pack the legislative agenda for much of March with an eye toward marking-up initial spending proposals in late April after a planned congressional recess. On March 22, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch and award-winning actor Stanley Tucci will both testify at a public witness hearing before the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee in support of the National Endowment for the Arts increase and on behalf of federal cultural funding.

Congressional Arts Caucus Gains New Members

03-05-2012: The Congressional Arts Caucus has added two new members bringing its current total to 186. New members are Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Tim Griffin (R-AR). See the full list of members here.

Arts Education Raised in House Education Committee Hearing 

02-20-2012: A hearing on legislation to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act included significant discussion on arts education due to one of the witnesses being a Colorado arts teacher. Following outreach by Americans for the Arts, Congressional Arts Caucus co-chair Todd Platts, caucus member Rep. Bobby Scott, and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa all raised arts learning as important to the underlying K-12 issues being considered by the committee. Colorado Springs arts teacher Felicia Kazmier spoke about the need for more funding and accountability in supporting arts education. For further information please contact Senior Director of Federal Affairs & Arts Education Narric Rome at nrome@artsusa.org

President's Budget Request Boosts NEA Funding for FY 2013

02-13-2012: The Obama administration released its federal budget blueprint for FY 2013 with an $8 million increase in funds for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This proposal would bring the NEA’s funding to $154 million compared to last year’s appropriation of $146 million. For more information, read Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch’s statement here.

House Transportation Committee Approves Bill Weakening Public Art Funding

02-06-2012: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a bill last week that could weaken funding for public art. In this new legislation, items such as the establishment of transportation museums, historic preservation, and rehabilitation of historic transportation buildings are no longer eligible for funding in the Transportation Enhancements (TE) section of the bill. Also, the committee repealed the 10 percent set aside for the TE program, which means that those funds are no longer explicitly available for these activities. This bill will now be brought to the House floor, so contact your members of Congress now!

House Transportation Committee Threatens Funding for Public Art and Museums

01-30-2012: On February 2, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to consider legislation that could end federal support for public art projects through the Transportation Enhancements program. Find more information about the program here. Please write you member of Congress today to convey the message that the Transportation Enhancements program should continue supporting public art and museums!

Americans for the Arts' President and CEO Robert Lynch Appointed to U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board 

01-23-2012: U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson has appointed Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch to a two-year term on the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Bryson stated, Lynch’s “experience in the travel and tourism industry will be an important resource to me as well as to the Board in advising me on ways to strengthen the industry, expand economic opportunities for American businesses, and create jobs.” Read the press release here.

Draft House Education Legislation Seeks to End Arts Education Program 

01-16-2012: Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education has introduced long-awaited legislation to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (also recognized as the No Child Left Behind Act). While the legislation maintains the arts as a core academic subject, it also would terminate the federal Arts in Education program which has been in place for the last 10 years. Bipartisan Senate committee legislation was approved in October 2011, however this House legislation does not have bipartisan support, which is expected to delay consideration of the bill for the immediate future. For more information, please contact Senior Director of Federal Affairs & Arts Education Narric Rome at nrome@artsusa.org.

Unfinished Tax Business Includes IRA Charitable Rollover

1-9-2012: A package of charitable giving incentives, which includes the IRA Charitable Rollover, expired at the end of 2011 with Congress failing to extend them. Legislators hope to wrap up this unfinished tax business before April 15. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) released a statement vowing "to find a bipartisan path forward" for these tax extenders, adding that "it is critical to extend these tax provisions early in the year to maximize their effect and provide certainty for the 2012 tax year."

2011

Music Therapy Helping Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Heal 

12-05-2011: A recent report by ABC News highlighted the role that music therapy has played in the treatment and recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Watch the incredible video of her therapy, and see how music helps connect both the left and right sides of the brain. Arts and healing, including music therapy, is one of the many program areas of Americans for the Arts.

Threat to Charitable Incentives Postponed as Supercommittee Delays Action 

11-21-2011: The congressional supercommittee negotiating a possible deficit reduction has failed to come to an agreement. With this deadline passing, any current proposals that include changes to the charitable deduction are unlikely to see action soon.

Federal Transportation Enhancement Program Threatened

11-07-2011: The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently released a transportation authorization bill (S.1813) titled, "Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century (MAP21)", which includes several changes to the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. The TE program is administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation at about 10 percent of the annual funding for federal surface transportation programs. Many of these enhancement projects include significant arts components—ranging from public art to historic preservation and scenic beautification. Among the changes offered in the draft bill text is a termination of eligibility for transportation museums and landscaping programs—currently included among the 12 categories that can be funded. Americans for the Arts produced a Federal Resource Guide on this program in 2006 and is currently working with other national arts groups to provide a response to this legislative development. 

Senate Subcommittee Proposes Level Funding for NEA

10-31-2011: The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, led by Chairman Jack Reid (D-RI) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), proposed level funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities at $155 million for FY 2012. This draft appropriations bill is not expected to be considered by the full committee as time is running out for Congress to complete FY12 appropriations work, and they are likely heading towards an omnibus agreement rolling all spending bills into one.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing to Explore Charitable Tax Reform

10-24-2011: On October 18, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), held a hearing on tax reform and charitable giving. In their testimony, witnesses provided support for charitable deductions to the nonprofit sector and also specifically mentioned the importance of supporting the arts. Watch an archive of the hearing and read the witness testimony.

Senate Committee Scheduled to Mark Up Draft Education Reform Bill This Week

10-17-2011: The top ranking senators on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), announced an agreement to move forward with bipartisan education reform legislation. The full committee is scheduled to begin consideration of the bill this week, and many amendments are expected to be offered to this draft bill.

White House Proclaims October as National Arts and Humanities Month 

 10-04-2011: National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. Held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts, NAHM is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. President Obama has issued a White House proclamation that recognizes the value of the arts and humanities and kicks off this month’s celebrations.

Congress Down to the Wire to Pass Short-Term Funding Bill

09-26-2011: With the end of FY 2011 approaching on September 30 and all appropriations bills still unfinished, Congress needs to work quickly to come to an agreement extending funding for the short term. Lawmakers are hopeful that they can pass legislation to keep all federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, operating through mid-November, giving them more time to work on a long-term solution and the greater debt limit debate. If they do not pass a continuing resolution by the end of the month, the government may face a shutdown.

President Obama's Proposed Tax Reform in Budget Plan May Affect Charitable Giving

09-19-2011: The Obama administration has recently released the American Jobs Act, which attempts to address sagging job growth with a combination of tax and spending policies aimed at encouraging private sector hiring. As part of the proposal, the administration has once again recommended capping itemized deductions at 28 percent (down from 35 percent) for gifts to charity for the highest earning brackets. Read this Washington Post article for more information on the potential impact the nonprofit arts sector fears these reforms could have on charitable giving.

Celebrate National Arts in Education Week! September 11 - 17, 2011

09-12-2011: Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring the week following the second Sunday of September as Arts in Education Week. Visit the AFTA website to find ways you can get involved and promote arts education in your community this week and check out our arts education blog salon.

Time Running Out for Congressional FY 2012 Appropriations Process

09-05-2011: This week, Congress returns from their August recess to resume work on the FY 2012 appropriations process, as they have yet to complete any of the yearly funding bills. With only 11 working days scheduled before the start of the the next fiscal year on October 1, it seems likely that Congress will need to pass a Continuing Resolution to keep federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, operating at the previous year's levels while they work out a long-term funding bill.

Deficit Reduction "Super Committee" May Impact Charitable Deduction

08-29-2011: When Congress returns from recess in September, the 12 members of the House and Senate making up the newly appointed “super committee” will begin to discuss new deficit reduction policy changes. While it is unclear what the final proposal will look like, some have included changes to the charitable deduction. Americans for the Arts has joined Independent Sector and other organizations from across the nonprofit sector in expressing concern and will continue to monitor these proposals.

Congress in Recess for August

08-22-2011: Congress has recessed for its summer district work period for the month of August and will return on Wednesday, September 7 to continue work on appropriations legislation for FY 2012. Neither the House nor the Senate have approved the FY 2012 Interior bill, which would fund the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.  The process will be further delayed as Congress must now also consider the cuts required  by the debt limit deal and how they will impact this year's budget.

Americans for the Arts Signs Letter in Support of Charitable Deduction

08-15-2011: Americans for the Arts has joined Independent Sector and more than 150 other organizations in a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders urging them to reject proposals to limit the value of itemized deductions for charitable donations. As Congress continues to work on debt reduction solutions, Americans for the Arts remains vigilant on the impact these proposals could have on the charitable sector.  Read the full-page ad that ran in Politico.

White House Features Champions of Change for Arts Education

08-08-2011: The Champions of Change initiative, started earlier this year, focuses on different leaders in different subjects and initiatives each week, including veterans, NASA innovators, AIDS researchers, and leaders in small business and clean energy. During the week of July 25, the White House focused on leaders in the field of arts education. Americans for the Arts was proud to serve as one of the organizations that assisted the White House and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in nominating some of the Champions that were selected. You can see the profiles of the champions on the White House website.

U.S. House Rejects Amendment to Further Cut NEA Funding

08-01-2011: The amendment to the House Interior Appropriations bill proposed by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) that would have cut an additional $10.6 million from the National Endowment for the Arts failed by a vote of 240-181 last week. See how your representative voted here. The next step is for the entire House Interior bill to be completed and voted on with the committee-set appropriation of $135 million for the NEA in the legislation. It is unclear when that will occur.

NEA Funding Cut to Head to U.S. House Floor This Week

07-25-2011: The Interior Appropriations bill, which proposes to reduce NEA funding by $20 million to $135 million for FY 2012, is scheduled to head to the U.S. House floor this week as the next step in the funding process. On the House floor, the bill could be subject to amendments to increase the cut even further or eliminate the NEA altogether.

Full U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves $20 million Cut for NEA

07-18-2011: The full U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed FY 2012 budget legislation that included a $20 million cut in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts from the agency's FY 2011 level of $155 million.

U.S. House Subcommittee Proposes $20 Million Cut to NEA Funding

07-11-2011: The U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee began the funding cycle for Fiscal Year 2012 by approving legislation to fund the NEA at $135.2 million, which is a reduction of $20 million from the current year. If enacted, it would be the deepest cut to the NEA in 16 years. Please take two minutes to send a customizable message to your member of Congress calling on them to reject these funding cuts.

 

House Subcommittee Scheduled to Take NEA Budget Action This Week

07-04-2011: The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee will meet this week to discuss its yearly appropriations bill, which includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. The mark-up is scheduled for July 7, and will be the first action on FY 2012 budgets for the subcommitte.

House Interior Subcomittee Scheduled to Take First FY 2012 Budget Action

06-27-2011: The FY 2012 budget cycle is scheduled to kick off next week when the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee will meet to discuss its yearly funding bill. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. The mark-up is scheduled for July 6, and will be the first action on FY 2012 appropriations for the subcommittee.

Congressional Arts Caucus Grows to 185 Members

06-20-2011: The Congressional Arts Caucus has added four new members bringing its current total to 185. New members are Reps. Ted Deutsch (D-FL), Brian Higgins (D-NY), David McKinley (R-WA) and Tom Petri (R-WI). See the full list of members here.

Congressional Budget Office Releases New Study on the Charitable Deduction

06-13-2011: As the Obama administration and Congress wrestle with reviving the economy and addressing long-term deficit reduction, tax treatment of certain exemptions and deductions have come into question as a means of increasing federal revenue, such as the Charitable Deduction. The nonprofit sector is closely tracking charitable giving developments to ensure preservation of private giving incentives that potentially impact arts and culture. A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study provided new data suggesting changes to the Charitable Deduction could have a profound effect on the giving community. This is the first such study by the CBO which Congress relies heavily on to make informed policy decisions. Read the full study here.

House Committee Votes to Terminate 43 Education Programs Including Arts Education

06-06-2011: The House Education and Workforce Committee approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) that terminates 43 U.S. Department of Education programs, including the Arts in Education program. Visit ARTSBlog for the full story.

Vote Expected on Legislation Calling for Termination of Federal Arts Education Programs

05-23-2011: This week, legislation proposed by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) calling for the termination of 43 education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, including arts education, is expected to be brought to a vote this week in the House Education and Workforce Committee. Americans for the Arts is working closely with congressional staff to provide members of Congress with talking points on the importance of arts education to students and the critical role this program has had in supporting arts education throughout the country.

Arts in Education Programs Challenged in House Legislation

05-16-2011: House Education Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced an education reform bill that would eliminate 43 programs at the U.S. Department of Education including the Arts in Education program. This is the first in a possible series of ESEA reform legislation that may be introduced in the coming months.  Americans for the Arts staff will continue working to support the Arts In Education program and keep advocates up to date about the status.

President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Releases Arts Education Report

05-09-2011: The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) released its report Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools. In addition to the summary report findings, PCAH hosted a panel discussion on arts education featuring Kaya Henderson, Acting Chancellor, DC Public Schools; Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers; and Ted Leonsis, former President of AOL, Internet entrepreneur, and investor.

New U.S. Department of Education Arts Education Report Released

05-02-2011: Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Education Statistics is releasing the preview of a study on the national status and condition of arts education. It has been almost a decade since the last one was published!  The full study is scheduled to be released by the end of 2011 and will be a key measurement of access to arts education.

61 Members Sign Letter in Support of NEA

04-25-2011: Rep. Louise Slaughter circulated a letter in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for $167.5 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.  This letter, called a "Dear Colleague", is an important measure of support, and 61 Members of Congress have signed on to urge their fellow legislators to support the arts in the upcoming FY 2012 appropriations process. Read the letter and see the list of signatories here.

$155 Million for NEA in Final Budget Deal

04-18-2011: The final FY 2011 budget negotiated by President Obama with House and Senate leaders includes $155 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. This represents a cut of $12.5 million from the FY 2010 enacted level of $167.5 million, which is significantly greater than the previous House-approved level of $124.4 million. Also included in this bill is $25.5 million in funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous continuing resolution.

National Arts Advocacy Day on Tuesday

04-04-2011: National Arts Advocacy Day is April 5, 2011 in Washington DC. Hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country will come together in support of the arts and arts education.  Ovation CEO Charles Segars and actor Kerry Washington are honorary co-chairs of the event. If you are not able to attend, you can follow the action at #AAD11 on Twitter.

Arts Funding Threatened as Congressional Disagreements Cloud Funding Picture

03-28-2011: The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have failed to compromise between competing proposals that would finalize the unfinished FY 2011 budget. The House recently passed a long-term FY 2011 continuing resolution (CR) that slashed spending for, among other things, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $43 million; eliminated Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education; and terminated funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Senate responded with a plan that would maintain the current NEA funding level of $167.5 million and restored much of the funding eliminated for other cultural programs. However, the Senate has failed to pass a long-term budget solution for FY 2011. As final negotiations continue, both the House and Senate have approved another short-term CR to keep the government running through mid-April.

Termination of NEA Included in Massive Budget Reduction Proposal

01-31-2011: The Republican Study Committee recently released a legislative proposal that calls for terminating programs and agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Arts in Education, funds for Community Development Block Grants, and funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting among more than 100 other programs slated for elimination. At this point, it is unclear how or when cuts to these programs might be proposed throughout the budget process this year, but Americans for the Arts will continue monitoring these issues.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) Named Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chair

01-17-2011: The Republicans in the House of Representatives have recently announced which members will take over as chairs of the different committees.  Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) has been named the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, and will have jurisdiction over funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Continuing Resolution Funds FY 2011 Appropriations at FY 2010 Levels through March 4

01-10-2011: Before the end of 2010, Congress passed another continuing resolution to keep all federal programs and agencies operating at 2010 funding levels until March 4, 2011. At that time, the newly sworn-in 112th Congress will need to finalize the budget for FY 2011 appropriations, as well as begin the process for FY 2012.

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