After more than 50 years of nurturing and sustaining arts and culture in communities across the U.S., the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities may soon cease to exist.
According to a report in The Hill, President Donald J. Trump’s incoming administration is prepared to enact a drastic budget plan that will reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next decade.
Among the agencies on the chopping block are the NEA and the NEH, which “would be eliminated entirely,” according to the report.
Signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 under the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, the organizations were created to nurture “constant dedication and devotion” to the arts and humanities, which “reflect the high place accorded by the American people to the nation’s rich cultural heritage and to the fostering of mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.”
Trump’s administration also intends to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nation’s largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online services, which was created in 1967 to “shield stations from political influence, and deliver federal support in a way that does not affect a station’s ability to operate independently,” according to its website.
The Washington Post broke down the U.S. government’s appropriation of funding to the NEA, NEH, and CPB in relation to Trump’s reported $10.5 trillion spending reduction plan.
The NEA and the NEH each requested $148 million in federal funds in 2016, while CPB received $445 million last year. That accounts for .006 percent (for NEA and NEH combined) and .01 percent (for CPB) out of the annual $3.9 trillion spent by the U.S. government last year.
According to the Washington Post, cutting these organizations only makes a .074 percent dent in the overall $10.5 trillion figure.