Advocacy Alert: July 11

House Subcommittee Proposes Cuts to NEA and NEH; Help Stop These Attacks

Earlier this week, a House Appropriations Subcommittee advanced legislation that would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by over $8 million each. The fiscal year 2015 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which contains this damaging 5.5 percent reduction, now advances to consideration by the full Committee next week.

Tell Your Legislators Not to Cut Funding for the NEA and NEH Today

“The proposed cuts to NEA and NEH would hurt museums’ efforts to engage their communities, preserve our cultural heritage, and contribute to local economies,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “This misguided proposal would deprive museums not just of the highly-competitive federal funds awarded by these agencies, but also the significant state, local, and private funds that they leverage. There is still time to influence the process, so I hope everyone will contact their legislators today.”

Package Funds Other Museum Priorities, Increases Key Limits for NEA Indemnity Program
In addition to setting NEA and NEH funding levels, the legislation also would provide $56.4 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (level funding), $2.6 billion for the National Park Service (a $3 million increase), and $813 million for the Smithsonian Institution (an $8 million increase).  

Despite providing too little funding for critical priorities, the legislation does include one important victory; it increases the limits for the NEA’s Arts and Artifacts Indemnity program. Though it has cost taxpayers virtually nothing since its creation in 1975, the program saves museums roughly $30 million in insurance costs every year. Alliance President Ford W. Bell requested this increase in his April testimony to the Subcommittee. “We owe a debt of thanks to the Association of Art Museum Directors for championing this language and to Subcommittee member Rep. Betty McCollum for her leadership in securing it in the bill,” said Bell.

Wish Congress Better Understood Museums? Invite Them to Visit!
If you’re tired of seeing bills that fail to recognize museums’ economic, educational and community value, you can help your legislators out by letting them see your impact first-hand. Participate in “Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum” Week, August 9-16 by following the Alliance’s easy “How To” guide.