Advocating for the NEA and NEH
As an organization with the mission to support artists in all disciplines – visual artists, including those in film and video, as well as composers, choreographers, playwrights, and poets – and representing all geographies, NYFA is staunchly opposed to the reported move to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The impact of the NEA and NEH is far-reaching, and we need them now more than ever. In 2016 alone, the NEA supported dozens of programs across the country with nationwide grants that touch every congressional district, bringing experiences in the arts to millions of United States citizens. The NEH has provided access to the multiple heritages and histories that define American culture and values.
It is in these times that we recall past threats to the cultural integrity of America. The NEA was faced with elimination in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when politicians called into question the agency’s funding of artists whose work addressed controversial topics of race, sexuality, and religion. This history reminds us that eliminating these two agencies would censor diverse voices from telling the story of our nation and providing a much-needed space for dialogue.
Art plays a critical role in our daily lives, from the music we listen to on the subway, to the contributions of artists, musicians, and authors to the economy. We should not take lightly the threat that the proposed NEA and NEH eliminations pose to our global society. Call or write your elected officials and their staff to let them know that you stand with the arts and encourage those in your community to do the same. Urge Congress to support funding for the NEA and NEH. While they comprise a meager 0.02% of the federal budget, their impact is immeasurable.
We will continue to advocate for the NEA and NEH in support of the arts and creative freedom everywhere. We will keep you apprised of actions that we’re taking to advance this cause, and thank you for joining us in this important fight.
Judith K. Brodsky, Chair of the Board of Directors
Michael L. Royce, Executive Director
Image: detail Jihyun Park (Fellow in Sculpture ‘07)