For the second straight year, President Donald Trump is calling for the elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment of the Humanities.
In the budget proposal unveiled Monday, Trump asks that both organizations begin to shut down in 2019, saying the NEA and NEH should not be federal responsibilities.
The two grant programs were launched as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” domestic agenda in the 1960s. Some conservatives have long criticized them, but the NEH and NEA have bipartisan support in Congress, which last year voted to restore funding. The budget for each agency is slightly under $150 million.
Trump is also again seeking to end federal support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which also has strong backing in Congress.
Below is the statement from National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu on the proposed 2019 budget:
Today we learned that the President’s FY 2019 budget proposes elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals in thousands of communities and in every Congressional District in the nation.
In FY 2018 to date, the NEA has awarded 1,134 grants totaling $26.68 million to organizations and individuals in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, launched a national songwriting competition for high school students, convened four summits across the country as part of Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, issued a research report on the economic impact of the arts in rural communities, and distributed emergency funding to arts agencies in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, among other activities.
We understand that the President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process. We stand ready to assist in that process as we continue to operate as usual.
As a federal government agency, the NEA cannot engage in advocacy, either directly or indirectly. We will, however, continue our practice of educating about the NEA’s vital role in serving our nation’s communities.