WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Monday, Dec. 17, the U.S. House gave preliminaryapproval to an "Omnibus" appropriations bill for FY 2008 providing fundingfor about $474 billion in domestic spending programs. The Senate beganconsidering this legislation on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
According to a press release from Americans for the Arts, with thePresident's expected signature later this week, the bill will provide about$145 million for the National Endowment for the Arts -- a $20 millionincrease over last year's funding. Arts education and public broadcastingprograms are slated to receive modest increases over last year's levels andthe federal museum office will see a slight decrease in funding.
**** Enacted FY07 ****
FY08 Final Omnibus Bill (Expected)
FY07 vs. FY08 Difference
National Endowment for the Arts$124.4 million vs. $144.7 million$20 million increase
National Endowment for the Humanities$140.95 million vs. $144.7 million$3.75 million increase
Arts Education at U.S. Department of Education$35.3 million vs. $37.53 million$2.23 million increase
Corporation for Public Broadcasting$396 million vs. $420 million$24 million increase
Office of Museum Services (within IMLS)$31.27 million vs. $31.83 million$556,000 decrease
National Endowment for the ArtsThrough this legislation, the NEA is expected to receive a 16% increase -the largest given to the agency in the past 24 years.
The effort to achieve this funding increase has been built over the courseof several years. Advocates have been attending the annual Arts Advocacy
Day http://capwiz.com/artsusa/utr/1/EVMJHYQLXI/CAQYHYQMBU/1626381546 oractively contacting their members of Congress, calling on them to restorethe NEA to the strength it once had in the mid-'90s.
On Capitol Hill, led by Congressional Arts Caucus co-chairs LouiseSlaughter (D-NY) and Chris Shays (R-CT), the cause was championed earlier
this year by House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks(D-WA) as he held, on Arts Advocacy Day, the first hearing on arts funding in 12
years. Americans for the Arts was called on by Chairman Dicks to organizethe hearing and present a panel of witnesses that included Americans forthe Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch, jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, anda number of other arts leaders. The hearing focused on the role ofcreativity and innovation in the arts and highlighted research outliningthe tremendous impact that federal investment in the arts can have.
In June, Congresswoman Slaughter led the U.S. House to reject threeamendments specifically designed to cut funding for the NEA, and insteadapprove a giant leap forward in NEA funding
During the floor consideration, Americans for the Arts advocates from 50states sent more than 26,000 messages to their Members calling on them tosupport an increase for the NEA.
Through negotiations with the Senate and the White House, the $145 millionwill provide for more direct grants to arts organizations around thecountry and increase the reach of the agency's national initiatives.
* The National Endowment for the Humanities is set to receive $145 million,an increase of about $4 million.
* Funding for arts education at the U.S. Department of Education willreceive a slight increase to about $38 million, from $35.3 million. Thebulk of this increase is intended to provide funding for administering thefirst national survey since 1999 on the status and condition of artseducation.
* The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the federal agency thatprovides support to the national public broadcasting network, saw theirannual budget increased from $400 million to $420 million for FY 2010. CPBis typically provided funding in advance due to the long range planningthey must do.
* The Office of Museum Services within the Institute for Museum & LibraryServices (IMLS) is slated to receive about $31.2 million, which is about a$556,000 decrease from what it received in FY 2007 funding.
What's Next: Passage of the Omnibus legislation will bring to an end the FY2008 appropriations cycle. Due to the numerous veto threats made on most of
the 13 appropriations bills, it took longer than expected for Congress tofinish their work. At the end of this week, the House and Senate willrecess until mid-January. The President is scheduled to give the State ofthe Union on Jan. 28, 2008 and the FY 2009 budget will be announced inearly February.