Donald Trump Proposing Elimination Of National Endowment For The Arts & Public Broadcasting
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:52:20
Ever since Donald Trump took office, it has been speculated that he would pull funding of the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities. Today, the White House revealed its proposed federal budget for 2018, and, indeed, both endowments are on the chopping block. The Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which supports PBS and NPR, also faces the possibility of having its funding cut.
What does this all mean? Nothing yet.
First the proposed budget has to go through Congress, which has the final say on the federal budget, and it will be heavily marked up. However, Republicans currently control both the House and the Senate, and have long advocated for the elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
In 2015, money for the endowments went to to 2,300 grants from the NEA and 882 projects funded by the NEH. It is not easy to say how much this would affect the arts economy, since much of it is supported by businesses and private donations, as well as government spending. However, we do know that the most affected areas will be programs in low-income communities. According to the NEA, 40% of the activities it supports take place in high-poverty neighborhoods.
However, as for PBS and NPR, the news is not so bleak. Currently, federal funding only accounts for less than 1% of NPR's revenue, and less than 7% for PBS. The Washington Post notes an ironic turn; the cuts would mostly affect local public broadcasters, which receive over 90% of the money allocated by the government, but most of these stations are in rural communities, which in majority voted for Trump.
We are not sure what the final verdict on all of these programs will be at this time. We are also unsure of how the cutting of their funding will affect the programs currently in place or those planned for the future. As of now, these budget cuts have only been proposed.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff