Much of what has "made America great" is our culture of arts and scholarship. The NEA supports everything from the Metropolitan Ballet to film festivals, craft faires, arts in the school programs, arts for veterans, exhibitions, museums, NPR, as well as new artists in all disciplines. The budget for he NEA and NEH is just about nothing when compared to the national budget. Ending the arts funding is dismantling American culture, as well as silencing and censoring dissent. We should not be trying to "justify the arts" any more than we should be trying to justify protecting the trees, or the water, or the air, or caring for the young, or the aged.
What we should stop doing is justifying what is happening to America under the Trump regime.
A community orchestra performance, a new work from an emerging playwright, art therapy for a returning veteran, local library classes in Braille, free standardized-test preparation, and Bert and Ernie. Thousands of such programs could be gutted under President Trump’s proposed budget. The budget plan, which calls for the elimination of four independent cultural agencies — the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — also would radically reshape the nation’s cultural infrastructure.
Although the budgets of the four organizations slated for elimination are negligible as a percentage of the larger federal budget, they play a vital role in a cultural economy built on a system of federal stimulus. Federal dollars are used to leverage state, local and private funding that supports a complex network of arts organizations, educational entities, museums, libraries and public broadcasting affiliates.
If the arts have impacted your life and you want to see these essential programs continue to flourish and preserve our cultural heritage, enhance our education system and help us build better communities, go to the Americans for the Arts Action Center and send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress.
Actively recruit your friends and family to do the same. Generously, share information on social media, using the national hashtags – #SAVEtheNEA, #ArtsVote, AND tag your Congressional members.
But beyond the numbers, we know the arts matter for a wholly human reason--they illuminate, they console, they articulate. In short, they help us to explore and express the wonderfully messy business of being human. Art defines us through our thoughts, perceptions, creativity, and other qualities that make us human.
At SAACA, you have taught us that the arts are not political, but essential to our humanity and our future. Through your support of our community events and programming, you have proved this very thought to be true for over 20 years here in our community.
Because of you, we know that a strong nation requires creativity, imagination, collaboration, risk-taking and resilience. These skills, taught through artistic practice, are the core drivers of innovation.
The arts are directly connected to the long-term strength of America’s economy, education and and at the State level in Arizona, sustainable growth. IF YOU BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE, THEN WE ASK YOU TO JOIN US AND MAKE OUR VOICE HEARD. This blueprint must be considered by the Congress who ultimately makes the decisions about the funding levels of federal programs, including outright elimination. The budget process is very long and very political, and there will be many opportunities to influence how members of Congress vote on this issue. Fortunately, federal support for our arts and cultural agencies has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, and if members of Congress don’t understand the broad and deep support these agencies have among citizens like ourselves – they are about to find out. As part of the Arts advocacy campaign in Arizona, we are asking you to go to the Americans for the Arts Action Center and send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress. Actively recruit your friends and family to do the same. Generously, share information on social media, using the national hashtags – #SAVEtheNEA, #ArtsVote, AND tag your Congressional members.