How Trump's budget threatens 'essential' LA after-school programs, arts

Trump budget clouds Public Broadcasting Act's 50th year

President Trump's $1.15 trillion budget proposal would, if approved, would reorders federal priorities by expanding defense funds and eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The new budget plan would eliminate funding to the program, along with other independent cultural agencies - including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"The Double Edge Theatre which is located in Ashfield, Massachusetts, got a grant from the NEA this year, and it's being used to raise the visibility of farms and artists and crafts people", she says.

The caucus emphasizes the role of arts plays in a balanced approach to education.

Madison Opera general director Kathryn Smith said in a statement that the "NEA support is very important to us", and the agency's block grant to the state helps fund programs such as the company's free Opera in the Park event, which draws some 16,000 people each summer.

The NEA today represents just 0.0037 percent of federal spending, far lower than its 1979 peak of 0.03 percent when it reached a high of $471 million. This almost 10:1 return rate on the investment is not uncommon, Wicks says, as in their district, every dollar from the federal government was matched by approximately $9 of public and private support. "They are the earliest dollars, but sometimes the earliest dollars are the 'confidence dollars, ' and have given us success in philanthropy otherwise", said Tom Loughman, CEO of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

The federal funds are especially crucial for local stations, as well as local arts groups, which often receive matching funds from other donors based on their federal allocations.

Funding to the arts in America might receive a devastating blow. They warned that rural and poor communities would be hit hardest because those areas have fewer sources of private funding to fill the endowments' void.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to flaunt its fluency in contemporary art, the satirical news site The Onion reported on the proposed cuts with the article, "Trump Says Wasteful NEA Hasn't Produced Single Valuable Work Since Claes Oldenburg's "Giant Three-Way Plug"". This is distributed to more than 300 arts and culture organizations statewide.

Those "visionary projects" include public art works that Capasso says resulted from the $75,000 Our Town grant the museum received directly from the NEA in 2012. The NEA saw its budget rise from almost $3 million in 1966 to $148 million in 2016. More than $900,000 of that went directly to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, through a partnership grant, according to Greg Liakos, communications director for the council. "There really is a fragile ecosystem for the arts in this country". "Federal funding is an essential ingredient to making this possible". According to a recent report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the art and cultural production contributed more than $704 billion to the US economy in 2013, accounting for 4.2 percent of the US GDP.

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