Federal Funding for Arts and Culture Programs Is Flat in Proposed 2006 Budget

Classic Arts News   Federal Funding for Arts and Culture Programs Is Flat in Proposed 2006 Budget
President George W. Bush's proposed 2006 budget leaves American cultural groups relatively unscathed while cutting other domestic programs, the Washington Post reports.

The budget proposes some redistribution of the National Endowment for the Arts' funds, taking 30 percent of the funding for Challenge America and putting it elsewhere in the agency's programs.

Under the proposed budget, the NEA would receive $121.2 million, the same amount it received for fiscal year 2005.

Felicia Knight, the NEA's communications director, told the Post, "Given the fact that 154 other agencies are facing cuts or elimination, we see the level funding of NEA as a show of support." In 2005, congress gave the NEA only $2 million for its American Masters program, rather than the $18 million requested by the president.

The National Endowment for the Humanities would receive $138 million, the same amount it receives for the current fiscal year.

Other cultural programs supported by the 2006 budget include the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs fund, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Kennedy Center for the Peforming Arts.

The budget proposes $615 million for the Old Patent Office Building's renovation, which is now in its final stages and which houses the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum; $2 million for a program to fund African-American museums; and funding boosts for the Holocaust Museum and the National Gallery of Art.

According to a related report released by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, public funding for the arts has stabilized after three years of decreases.

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