This week, we have officially learned, through their preliminary budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, of the intention of the Trump Administration to eliminate funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. In numbers, these four agencies have a collective $971 million budget.
As an advocate for museums, cultural spaces, and their staff, the Museum Council board is saddened and alarmed. Museum Council stands with museums, cultural organizations, and arts advocates in Philadelphia and across the nation. And, while a full budget proposal is not expected until May, now is time to gather and act. Congress provides final budget approval, considering their own budget priorities; priorities that come from their constituents.
What can you do? Join efforts regionally and nationally, your support means more now than ever:
- The American Alliance of Museums has and continues to work with partners and Congress in support of these agencies. They offer an online tool-kit for contacting your representatives.
- The Americans for the Arts offers an Arts Mobilization Center with tools, resources and information to make your case for the arts
- Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has created Advocacy Alerts, which you can sign up for online.
- Keep updated with Museum Council, including an additional event we added this year- quarterly React and Chat discussions for area museum professionals to talk about the role of museums in the current political climate.
Also, know the facts:
- For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans.
- The NEA generates more than $600 million annually in additional matching funds.
- The NEA has placed art therapists in 12 military hospitals to help returning soldiers heal from traumatic brain injuries.
- Arts and culture help to shape a $730 billion industry that represents 4.2% of the nation’s GDP and supports 4.8 million jobs.
- The cost of public broadcasting is only $1.35 per citizen per year, and the benefits are tangible.
It’s time to join together to show the strength and influence of our cultural sector. Since 1939, Museum Council has been and continues to be a resource for museums. Through events like React and Chat, panel discussions, and more we hope to provide safe and welcoming spaces, create dialog, and inspire action in support of museums regionally and nationally. We look forward to working with all of you and our cultural community to combat these proposed cuts. Find out more about Museum Council and our upcoming programs at philadelphiamuseumcouncil.com.
Museum Council President
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