College Art Association

CAA News Today

Hurricane Katrina Federal Funding Update

posted by March 16, 2006

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Congress approved legislation that redirects funds not used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to other agencies. About $11.5 billion of the unused funds were devoted to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for affected states. CDBG can be a source of funding for arts institutions and programming, at the discretion of local mayors and planning authorities.

So far, Mississippi announced that they will use its portion to give financial assistance to citizens whose homes were destroyed or damaged. Louisiana, with far more people affected, has not yet decided how it will spend its CDBG funding. Due to the size and scale of the destruction, it is unlikely that any big portion of CDBG money will be used as a source of funding for the arts.

Two “Dear Colleague” letters are being circulated in the House of Representatives.

The co-chairs of the Congressional Humanities Caucus, Representatives Jim Leach (R-IA) and David Price (D-NC), have prepared a Dear Colleague letter in support of a $15 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities in fiscal year 2007, which they have begun to circulate in the House of Representatives. The deadline for signing onto this letter is Wednesday, March 29, which gives us a very small window for encouraging CAA members to send.

The second letter, prepared by the cochairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Representatives Chris Shays (R-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), is asking members of the House to sign onto a letter that would then be sent to leaders of the House Interior Appropriations committee, which has jurisdiction over funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The letter requests a funding level of $170 million in FY 2007, an increase of $45 million over current funding. The deadline for signing this letter is April 7.

ACTION NEEDED

We ask that you call, e-mail, or fax your representative and ask them to sign onto these letters today. For a sample letters asking your representative to sign on to the Dear Colleague letters below. A large number of signatures on the letters, particularly if they represent both sides of the aisle, will send an important message to the leadership of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee as it begins to work on the mark-up of the FY 2007 spending bill.

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SAMPLE LETTER RE: NEH DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTERS

[DATE]

The Honorable [FULL NAME]
United States House of Representative / United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515 (House) 20510 (Senate)

Dear Representative [LAST NAME]:

Public encouragement and financial assistance for arts and humanities programs are very much in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this country. I urge you to support these programs in discussions with other members of Congress and the general public. I am writing you today to ask that you sign onto a Dear Colleague letter now being circulated by Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) and Rep. David Price (D-NC), requesting $156 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities in fiscal year 2007, an increase of $15 million above the FY 2006 enacted level and the president’s FY 2007 request. This modest increase for the NEH will provide crucial support for humanities programs that educate the public, provide resources for teachers, increase literacy, facilitate scholarly research, and preserve historical documents and collections.

With a relatively small investment from Congress, the NEH provides access to high-quality educational programs and resources that reach millions of Americans each year. To this end, it is critical that we continue to strengthen funding for the arts and scholarly research through increased appropriations for the NEH.

For more information or to sign onto the letter, please contact Susan Howard with Rep. David Price at 225-1784 or Naomi Zeff with Rep. James Leach at 225-6576. The deadline to sign onto the letter is COB, Wednesday, March 29.

As an individual who is passionate about our nation’s arts programs and a member of the College Art Association, I look forward to your powerful recognition concerning arts and humanities funding. If ever I can be of assistance to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your consideration of my request, and for your support of arts funding.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ORGANIZATION OR MEMBER OF CAA]

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SAMPLE LETTER RE: NEA DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTERS

[DATE]

The Honorable [FULL NAME]
United States House of Representative / United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515 (House) 20510 (Senate)

Dear Representative [LAST NAME]:

Public encouragement and financial assistance for arts and humanities programs are very much in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this country. I urge you to support these programs in discussions with other members of Congress and the general public. I am writing you today to ask that you sign onto a Dear Colleague letter now being circulated by the Congressional Arts Caucus to the chairman and ranking member of the Interior Appropriations Committee. The letter requests a funding level of $170 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in fiscal year 2007. I heartily request that you sign onto this important letter to increase NEA funding.

To sign onto the letter, please contact Sarah Moore in Representative Chris Shays’s office at 225-5541, or sarah.moore@mail.house.gov, or Michelle Adams in Representative Louise Slaughter’s office at 225-3615, or michelle.adams@mail.house.gov. The deadline for signatures is Friday, April 7, so please sign on to this important letter as soon as possible.

With a relatively small investment from Congress, the NEA provide access to high-quality educational programs and resources that reach millions of Americans each year. To this end, it is critical that we continue to strengthen funding for the arts and scholarly research through increased appropriations for the NEH.

For more information or to sign onto the letter, please contact Susan Howard with Representative David Price at 225-1784 or Naomi Zeff with Representative James Leach at 225-6576. The deadline to sign the letter is COB, Wednesday, March 29.

As an individual who is passionate about our nation’s arts programs and a member of the College Art Association, I look forward to your powerful recognition concerning arts and humanities funding. If ever I can be of assistance to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ORGANIZATION OR MEMBER OF CAA]