“After a month worrying about the fate of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the hundreds of community organizations that the agency supports nationwide, the arts world found hope in congressional leaders’ agreement Sunday that would not only maintain NEA funding for fiscal year 2017 but increase it by $2 million,” The Los Angeles Times reports.
The NEA issued an upbeat statement Monday pointing out that the proposed appropriation of about $150 million was the level of funding the group requested from Congress back in February 2016.
The NEA said in an email sent to The Times: “This morning Congress released the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, a bipartisan agreement that will fund the government for the remainder of FY 2017. In this bill, the NEA is funded at its FY 2017 request level of $149.849 million. … The agency has been operating at its FY 2016 appropriation of $147.949 since October 1, 2016. Congress is expected to pass this bill later in the week, and the President is expected to sign it.”
The Times adds: “The city of Los Angeles had joined civic and arts organizations across the country voicing support for the NEA. City leaders recently put forward a resolution to support funding for the organization as well as others threatened with budget cuts, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corp. for Public Broadcasting, the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, said Danielle Brazell, general manager of L.A.’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the document Saturday.”
The report notes that arts organizations had been gearing up to protest the elimination of the NEA.