Trump's arts cuts will most hurt youth and rural programs in WA

Leaders of local arts organizations and after-school programs expressed concern Thursday over what President Donald Trump's proposed budget and its possible cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Education could mean for them. The NEA contributes millions of dollars to both large and small cultural organizations across MA.

"To eliminate what amounts to a very small dollar amount in the overall federal budget has wide-reaching effects and is unconscionable", said Michael Stotts, managing director of Hartford Stage.

Rapid City Arts Council Executive Director Pepper Massey says, "Economic development".

"I don't think it's going to happen, but it could", he said.

Walker also says it's ironic that this news comes during the year that marks the centennial of MA son John F. Kennedy's birth.

This is why it is vital to support and advocate for the continued federal funding of the National Endowment for the Humanities. "Because he believed that great civilizations embrace and build their foundation of freedom on an artistic platform". In that same period, Madison Symphony Orchestra's Heartstrings program, which takes classical music to communities of people with special needs, has won $70,000 in NEA grants. In 2016, the Endowment's funding was just $148 million.

In a statement, CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, "There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media's education and informational programming and services".

"What's happening when producing companies get funded is that you lose any aspect of creative destruction, so when you unsubsidize companies that are actually trying to tighten their belts and create new ways to bring in more audience, not for-profit companies and the companies that the NEA funds are more incentivized to go after grants than they are to go after the audiences", Mr. Marcus tells the Monitor in a phone interview.

She points to grants given to organizations that serve rural and economically-depressed communities. "And in New Bedford, there's a Working Waterfront Festival celebrating the history and the working skills of the fisherman in the area". Still, why should the rest of us suffer through four years of no arts?

"Unlike Boston or Cambridge or even Worcester, Fitchburg has no local infrastructure of arts philanthropy", he says. In it, Trump bemoans in a trumped-up quote: "We have not seen one single NEA-backed project come close to justifying its cost since the Swedish-American sculptor debuted his Pop Art masterpiece in 1970, challenging the way we grapple with questions of industrialization and decay". The Seattle Art Museum also receives regular NEA funding for some of its marquee exhibitions.

Fitchburg Art Museum director Nick Capasso. Capasso says they've applied for another Our Town grant to support a Cultural Master Plan for Fitchburg and are waiting to hear back.

Other stations across the country would be facing 20, 25 or even 40 percent budgetary losses if the federal funding was removed, Brett said.

The spending outline is what White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney calls a "hard-power budget", with spending increases for defense and homeland security at the expense of many other programs in the discretionary part of the budget.

The NEA also funds some of Seattle's big arts groups.

Congress is slated to approve a new budget in October.

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