Arts, Call for Action

Action Issue: Ask Rep. Faso To Oppose Elimination Of Arts And Culture Programs


 Thank you to Cynthia Reichman for her work on this issue.

Trump’s ‘skinny budget’ proposes the almost total elimination of four key arts and humanities agencies — the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  These cuts ‘save’ a mere 0.02 percent of the total federal budget, yet imperil access to arts, culture and educational opportunities, and harm the economy. Many groups that receive these funds are in rural and economically disadvantaged areas; for example, 40% of NEA-supported activities take place in high-poverty neighborhoods, including rural communities. The rigorous federal grant making process encourages other donors to support the organizations awarded federal grants, thus leveraging the grant funding support, often significantly. Nationally, the arts and culture sector is valued at $742 billion — 4.2% of the US GDP — and accounts for 7 million jobs. In New York State, approximately 5% of all businesses have a relationship with the arts and creative endeavors. In NY-19, groups receiving grants help create a vibrant local economy, supporting tourism, locally-owned small businesses, and offering varied employment opportunities. (More background information and references are included at the end of this document.)

Local NY19 organizations funded include:

Bard Music Festival, Annandale-on-Hudson; Art Omni International Arts Center, Ghent; City School District of Kingston; Center for Photography, Woodstock; Hudson Opera House, Hudson; Iroquois Indian Museum, Howes Cave (Schoharie County); Maverick Concerts, Woodstock; Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz; Thomas Cole Historic House, Catskill; Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz; Wilderstein Preservation, Rhinebeck; Women’s Studio Workshop, Kingston; Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz; FASNY Museum of Firefighting, Hudson; Columbia County Historical Society, Kinderhook; Farmer’s Museum, Cooperstown; National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown; local NY19 public television and radio stations.

Sample Call to Rep. Faso

Hello, I am [name] from [town, county, zip code]. I am calling to ask Rep. Faso to vote for full funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Institute for Museums and Library Science. These cultural agencies are so important in supporting and maintaining a variety of local musical festivals, historic sites, museums and educational opportunities for children and adults. They contribute greatly to our local economy, and create jobs. I urge Rep. Faso to fight against any cuts to these agencies, and to encourage his peers to do the same. Tell me, what is Rep. Faso’s position on the proposed elimination of these agencies?

Phone Numbers for Rep. Faso

Washington, DC Office: (202) 225-5614

Delhi District Office: (607) 746-9537

Kinderhook District Office: (518) 610-8133

Kingston District Office: (845) 514-2322

Sample Tweet to Rep. Faso

Oppose elimination of arts & culture @RepJohnFaso Vital to #NY19 tourism, econ, & educational org! Creates jobs. Keep NEA,NEH,CPB, & IMLS!

More Background

About The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

The NEA’s mission is to support and provide access to arts and culture in every community in the country. Each of the 435 congressional districts receives at least one grant per year. Funds are often disbursed to state, regional, and local organizations, which then decide how to distribute the grants. Most of the time, grant recipients must secure matching funds from private donors and institutions. When an entity can say that it has obtained an NEA grant, it makes it more likely that it will obtain donations from private donors and institutions. Quoting from the NEA site, grants are distributed as follows—

  • 65 percent of NEA grants go to small and medium-sized organizations, which tend to support projects that benefit audiences that otherwise might not have access to arts programming.
  • 40 percent of NEA-supported activities take place in high-poverty neighborhoods.
  • 36 percent of NEA grants go to organizations that reach underserved populations such as people with disabilities, people in institutions, and veterans.
  • More than half of NEA-funded art events take place in locations where the median household income is less than $50,000.

 About the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The NEH supports programs in the humanities, with grants going to libraries, colleges and universities, museums, and individuals.  Both NEH  and NEA fund programs  which help veterans prepare for college, and adjust to civilian life after military service.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

The CPB supports both PBS and NPR, which are dedicated to providing educational and entertainment programming to children and adults. Rural stations, which are often the only local TV and radio stations serving an area, receive 65 percent of CPB funds. It is estimated that it costs $1.35 per citizen per year to fund the CPB. Although local stations broadcast the national PBS and NPR programs, they are likely to air programs which focus on their own community. If the CPB is eliminated, rural public TV and radio stations would be unsustainable, a significant loss to the communities which depend on those stations for news, entertainment, and educational programs.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The IMLS is the primary source of federal funding for 123,000 libraries and 35,ooo museums throughout the US, with grants going to an array of urban and rural libraries and museums.


Click to access how-the-us-funds-the-arts.pdf