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President Trump and Members of the
U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate:

As your constituents, we are concerned for the future of the arts and art education across the United States. We therefore urge you to reject the Trump Administration’s dangerous budget proposal that includes funding cuts for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in FY 2017 and fully eliminating funding in FY 2018—in 2016 the NEA received about $148 million in government aid.

The NEA accounts for approximately less than .003 percent of U.S. federal spending—costing about 46 cents each for every American, every year. Moreover, the arts and cultural industries are a prosperous source for job creation, reportedly providing over 4.7 million jobs in the U.S.

In fact, the Bureau of Economic Analysis within the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that arts and cultural industries are robust contributors to the U.S. economy, contributing more to the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) than many other sectors—including construction, transportation, and warehousing.

In light of the ample contributions provided by arts and cultural industries, we urge that you support actions to:

  1. Preserve and expand funding for our arts and culture institutions, including funds for the NEA;

  2. Improve and equalize accessibility to the arts and art education across U.S. communities;

  3. Maintain and develop tax-deduction incentives for donors who make contributions to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations; and

  4. Create an arts and culture cabinet position for advising the President and other members on the significant impacts that arts and culture have on the economy, education, and the lives of all individuals living in the U.S.

We propose that you consider the future of the arts and art education as you make decisions for the FY 2018 budget in the coming months and for years thereafter. Thank you for recognizing the essential roles that the arts play in the lives of all Americans.