Tonight: Trump, Congress and the Arts @ Americans for the Arts

Dear Arts Advocate,

With tonight's address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump will kick off this year's appropriations cycle. While the actual release of his Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal isn't expected until March 14th, tonight's speech will undoubtedly highlight some of the new Administration's spending proposals.

Here's what we've learned so far:
  • In January, an article in The Hill newspaper reported the Trump transition team recommended billions of dollars in cuts to the Commerce Department, State Department and called for termination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the end of federal support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
  • This month, the New York Times reported on an internal White House memo thatcalled for termination of nine federal agencies including, again, the NEA, NEH and CPB.
  • This week, some details of the President's FY 2018 budget proposal have been shared and the overall proposal appears to identify an enormous $54 billion in cuts to discretionary programs and transfer a simliar amount to increase defense spending. Today it's reported that this proposal, not yet officially released, has already worried GOP appropriations members of Congress responsible for passing a final budget.
These early reports of termination are very alarming and in response, Americans for the Arts has launched an Arts Mobilization Center that gathers the most recent federal policy news, arts policy statements and recommended actionsto take in response to the Administration, to notify your Member of Congress and share key arts policy research with your colleagues.

Tonight's speech by President Trump will kick off a year-long advocacy challenge. As you may know, arts advocates have been working for years with many members of Congress to support the cultural agencies.

Just today, the bipartisan leadership of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Rep. Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. Lance (R-NJ) provided testimony in support of the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities before the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. Earlier this month, 24 U.S. Senators, including two GOP Senators, sent a letter to President Trump in support of the NEA and NEH. This is just the beginning of this year's work to ensure support for the arts in Congress.

Americans for the Arts has been working to ensure that the Administration hears from you, that your Member of Congress hears from their constituents and that you get opportunities to effectively spread a pro-arts message to your local media.That is our pledge to you.

AAD LogoIn addition to taking action online, Americans for the Arts, along with 88 national partners, is hosting the annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC on March 20-21Register for Arts Advocacy Dayand become one of the 500+ advocates speaking with Congress in support of a dozen policy issues, including support for the federal cultural agencies. 

As for tonight's speech, please join 25,000 arts advocates and sign-on to this Arts Action Fund petition to President Trump and let him know how he can have a pro-arts Administration and that you oppose any weakening of the National Endowment for the Arts!

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