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Recording Academy Testifies To Protect NEA Funding
"Through supporting music and the arts, the NEA empowers local communities, improves student development, and advances cultural achievements." –Daryl P. Friedman, Recording Academy Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer, Conversations In Advocacy #75
Each year, music and arts funding via the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is set as part of the nation's budgeting process. Once again this year, the White House released a budget proposing to zero out funding for the NEA and close the agency. Fortunately, there remains bipartisan support in Congress to disregard the Administration’s budget and keep the NEA open.
The Recording Academy is doing its part, with Chief Industry, Government, and Member Relations Officer Daryl Friedman submitting testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on March 5 requesting an increase in funding for the NEA for FY21.
"The Recording Academy is proud to support the NEA and the important work it has done to enrich American culture. It remains an integral part of the cultural bedrock of the United States, working to bring music and the arts to towns and communities across the country," Friedman said in his testimony. "As such, the Recording Academy urges the subcommittee to fund the NEA at $170 million for Fiscal Year 2021 so that it can fulfill its mission in the coming year."
The Academy has long supported and fought for an increase in funding for the NEA. In the recently passed budget for FY20, the NEA saw a $7.25 million increase in appropriated funds, which pushed total funding past $162 million. While this funding increase, which was the largest in the past decade, will allow the NEA to fund more diverse opportunities for arts participation in 2020, the Academy is requesting additional funds to be allocated to this program in order to expand its current grant-making ability and help deliver an increase in arts participation across all 50 states.
"Considering that NEA grants yield more than $500 million in matching support—leveraging outside funds at a ratio of 9:1—it is financially one of the smartest investments the government can commit to," said Friedman.
The value of music and arts funding becomes ever-more clear, even as the threats of losing it continue to return each year. Fortunately, everyone can do something to help. Contact your Members of Congress today to let them know you stand with the Recording Academy's position to increase NEA funding. As they say, someday your kids will thank you.