The U.S. Capitol Building
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The Fight For The Arts: Congress' Crucial Year-End Funding Decision
As the close of 2017 nears, Congress is pressed to wrap a handful of "must-do" items before breaking for the holidays. One such item of major significance is passing a spending bill to keep the government funded and running into 2018.
For music creators, one specific facet of this spending bill looms large: funding for the 2018 National Endowment for the Arts, an area of great interest to the Recording Academy's advocacy efforts.
The NEA survived President Donald Trump administration's proposal to slash funding for 2017. In the face of adversity, advocates for the creative community sprang into action, utilizing the Academy's online tool to send thousands of messages to Congress and lobbying in support of NEA funding during GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day. The surge of support for the NEA was successful, and Congress ultimately increased funding from $148 million to $150 million for 2017.
Now, as we stand on 2018's doorstep, the White House has proposed eliminating the NEA completely. Fortunately for the arts community, Congress has plainly rejected this proposal, with the House approving $145 million earlier this summer and more recently, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved fully funding the NEA at $150 million.
While there is optimism in the House's committee report, which claimed the NEA has "broad bipartisan support," the final spending level for 2018 is still in flux. Furthermore, Congress remains in the midst of complicated negotiations surrounding tax reform, health care, immigration, and other hot-button issues potentially affecting the fate of the spending bill.
Advocates of the arts have helped protect the NEA thus far and Congress will likely pass a temporary spending bill, delaying the final determination on NEA funding until January. But now is the time to contact your representatives with a loud, clear message of support for the NEA.
Visit our Advocacy Action page to learn how you can make a difference in the fight to maintain crucial funding for the arts.