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Dear Colleague Letter in Support of the NEA and NEH

posted by Linda Downs — Mar 20, 2012

US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) is circulating a Dear Colleague letter that requests funding for the National Endowment for the Art and the National Endowment for the Humanities for fiscal year 2013, as requested in President Barack Obama’s federal budget. CAA encourages you to contact your senators, asking them to sign the letter.

NEA/NEH FY13 Letter to Appropriators

This letter requests funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at the level requested in the President’s budget, which is $154 million for each endowment. This is the same level included in the Senate’s FY12 Interior Appropriations mark. More details below:

  • The FY12 President’s Request – $146.255 million for each endowment
  • The FY12 Enacted – $146.255 million
  • FY12 Senate mark – $154 million
  • The FY13 President’s Request – $154 million

Staff Contact: Jeanette Lukens, Jeanette_lukens@tomudall.senate.gov.

Deadline for Signatures is COB Monday March 26th.

Dear Colleague Letter

March 27, 2012

The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Capitol, S-128
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jack Reed
Chairman
Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies
SD-131
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Thad Cochran
Vice Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Capitol, S-128
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies
SH-125
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Inouye, Vice Chairman Cochran, Chairman Reed, and Ranking Member Murkowski:

We write to express appreciation for your continued support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and to urge you to support the President’s funding request for the endowments as outlined in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal. As our nation grapples with economic uncertainty, federal support for the arts and humanities is a vital economic, educational, and cultural priority that impacts communities across the United States.

The NEH is the primary source of federal support for humanities research and related activities in the United States. It provides support for professional development to scholars, educators, curators, librarians, historians, filmmakers, and more. Through the endowment’s efforts, heritage is preserved, civic institutions are strengthened, and Americans are better prepared to address the challenges in a constantly changing world. In addition to appropriated funding, the NEH is able to leverage significant, non-federal contributions through competitive grant awards, with direct matching totaling more than $2 billion over the last few decades.

Federal funding for the NEH includes support for state humanities councils who work in partnership with the endowment to reach millions of Americans each year through teacher institutes, family literacy programs, and thousands of other programs. With this extensive network of state humanities councils and general NEH programming, the endowment reaches every state and territory across the nation.

For over 40 years, the NEA has provided strategic leadership and investment in the arts and has proudly expanded arts activity across the nation with the mission “to bring arts to every American.” For every one dollar spent on federal arts initiatives there are eight non-federal dollars leveraged while at the same time children and communities are enriched through access to the arts that they might not otherwise have.

Federal funding for the NEA acts as seed money that generates massive economic return with the non-profit arts industry generating $166.2 billion annually in economic activity and supporting 5.7 million full-time jobs. Additionally, the federal government enjoys a direct return of $12.6 billion in income taxes, as well as the indirect benefit of improved education, community development, and increased business activity across the country.

The President’s requested funding for FY13 for the NEA will help the endowment maintain its extremely successful programs, including The Big Read, Our Town, Challenge America, The Mayor’s Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative, Blue Star Museums, Shakespeare in American Communities, and Operation Homecoming. In FY11, the NEA awarded over $124 million in appropriated funds through just over 2,400 grants reaching all 435 congressional districts.

Thanks to your leadership, the NEH and NEA continue to play a vital role in every state. We urge you to continue to support federal funding of the arts and humanities in FY13 by adopting the President’s request level for both endowments in your final appropriations legislation. We appreciate your attention to this vital funding, and look forward to working with you on this and the other important issues facing our nation.