No More Federal Funding for the Arts?

Trump poster in Iowa

Leaked details regarding the Trump Administration's planned budget proposal suggest that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are all on the chopping block. The NEH and NEA reportedly will be terminated and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting sold off.

In terms of the federal budget, it has been well documented that the support for the arts makes up a vanishingly small portion of the federal budget (less than .001% annually).

De-funding the NEA and NEH have long been a goal of some conservative members of Congress, who consistently point to a handful of controversial exhibitions that received some NEA funding. However, the NEA provides thousands of grants to recipients across the nation, including to many areas where citizens have little local access to cultural resources.

As Graham Bowley of the NYT notes, the NEA and NEH had already taken significant hits even before Trump's election, having been evicted from their offices to make way for the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. In an apt sign of the times, renovation of the Trump Hotel cost over USD $200 million, which exceeds the entire budgets of the NEA and NEH combined.