The Playgoer: NEA: back to the 90s!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

NEA: back to the 90s!

With a new, hopefully more arts-friendly congress, it's time to lobby for the NEA again. Reports Bloomberg:

Robert Lynch, head of the Washington-based advocacy group Americans for the Arts, said he will request at least $176 million for the NEA in the 2008 budget, up from $127 million in the current fiscal year. President George W. Bush has proposed $131 million for the NEA in 2008.

"Our feeling is, it ought to be $176 million minimally,'' Lynch said. "That's what it was a decade ago.''

You heard right. The NEA budget is now $50 million less than it was 10 years ago. And that's not even adjusting for inflation.

Oh, and remember all that talk about how the arts would benefit because the "private sector" would step in where government stopped meddling?
[Lynch] said charitable giving by corporations, foundations and individuals failed to offset the slash in government funding in the mid-1990s.
As any development office will tell you, what eggs the private sector on the most is federal and state funding. "Matching" gifts, etc. More money begets more money...Also, any sizeable arts org needs a healthy dose of both government & private funding to survive.

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