If you’re reading this, there’s a fair chance you support the Arts. We don’t need to explain to you the deep importance of Art in America and the absolute necessity of a federal organization to champion our national artistic identity, as the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has done since 1965.
The current administration’s budget proposal eliminates the NEA and in the effort to combat rhetoric that increasingly undermines the values Primary Stages cares so deeply about, we wanted to share with you some things we know to be unequivocally true:
- The NEA provides funding to all 50 states.
- This funding helps provide theater (and other arts) access and arts education to communities large and small.
- Every $1 of NEA funding is matched by almost $9 of private or other non-federal support.
These are just three reasons that the NEA is absolutely vital for the United States international leader in the Arts.
Additionally the NEA provides critical support to the Arts Market, maintaining jobs and vital tax revenue. Nationally, the arts generated $135.2 billion of economic activity. $61.1 billion of the overall revenue is stems from the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations. This economic activity supports 4.13 million full-time jobs and generates $86.68 billion in resident household income. The arts also generate $22.3 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year. 1
But beyond the dollars and cents the arts brings to our state, local, and federal economy, the arts has a deep, intrinsic impact on our identity as individuals and as a nation. The Arts foster empathy, community, and an expansion of our understanding as humans. As such, we must do everything we can do to protect this critical institution.
On March 21st, people from communities around the country visited Washington, D.C. or called their Congressional Representatives to express support for the NEA and other cultural agencies as part of National Arts Advocacy Day. It’s not too late to make your voices heard. Here’s how:
- Call your Representatives, two Senators, and the White House. Tell them you are a constituent and that you support sustained funding for the NEA and other cultural agencies.
To find out your Congressperson’s phone number, go to www.house.gov.
Locale senate phone numbers:
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) New York – (202) 224-4451
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D) New York – (202) 224-6542
Cory A. Booker (D) New Jersey – (202) 224-3224
Robert Menendez (D) New Jersey – (202) 224-4744
Richard Blumenthal (D) Connecticut – (202) 224-2823
Christopher Murphy (D) Connecticut – (202) 224-4041
- Share this information on Facebook and reach out to your friends.
- Ask those small businesses with whom you work to make these calls as well.
Primary Stages has devoted itself for 32 seasons to nurturing an artform that thrives on the support of a community of real people, like yourselves. We thank you in advance for everything you do to keep the Arts alive in America. We promise we’ll return the favor.
-The Staff of Primary Stages
2: Advocacy cheat sheet courtesy of Art/NY