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Update from the Americans for the Arts Action Fund

Americans for the Arts - Arts Action Fund
The Obama Administration released its FY 2013 budget request to Congress this week and we’re pleased to see that it includes proposed funding increases for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The administration request of $154 million for the NEA marks a greatly needed increase. Since 2010 the NEA has been cut $22 million, reducing it to $146 million last year, which threatens its ability to make critical grants throughout the country. By boosting specific funding for programmatic grants by $6.75 million, Arts Action Fund President & CEO Robert Lynch was quoted in the L.A. Times stating, “The White House is sending a clear message that it understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and the economy.”

The President’s request is just the first step in the legislative process. Soon the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will offer competing proposals that will reflect their particular priorities. We ask that advocates remain vigilant in the months ahead as the congressional appropriations committees work to pass their spending plans. Last year, the NEA was twice targeted for reduced funding through the amendment process on the House Floor. Thanks to your messages to Congress, the nation’s signature cultural agency was spared drastic cuts after an outpouring of bipartisan support that turned back the harmful amendment. We hope to count on your advocacy again this year should the need arise.

Our kickoff advocacy effort will launch at our National Arts Advocacy Day conference on April 16-17, the only national event that brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country. We encourage you to register for this national conference and join us on Capitol Hill.


The following is a detailed comparison breakdown of the administration’s FY 2013 budget request for cultural programs:

Key Federally Funded Arts Program

FY 2012 Enacted
(in millions)

FY 2013 President’s
Budget Request
(in millions)

National Endowment for the Arts



National Endowment for the Humanities



Institute of Museum and Library Services



U.S. Dept. of Education’s Arts in Education



Corporation for Public Broadcasting



*Similar to previous year’s administration budget proposals, the Arts in Education program is consolidated with six non-arts programs. It is unclear at what level grants in arts education will be supported.


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