On Friday, December 16, 2011, Congress approved a $146.255 million appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts for FY12. The FY11 NEA appropriation was $155 million and this $9 million cut, almost 6% from the year before, is the amount the President had requested for the Agency. Congress approved this budget deal as the second Continuing Resolution of the year was about to expire, and averted a much deeper cut of $20 million that had been approved by the House of Representatives this past summer.
Also included in the Omnibus Bill passed on Friday is $24.593 million in funding for the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education. This is a tremendous victory because the House had slated this program for total elimination.
While arts advocates generally work toward increased funding for the NEA and Arts Education, the final resolution of FY12 funding reflects bipartisan support for the arts on Capitol Hill – and hard work and commitment from the arts community in communicating the value and importance of your work to your elected officials. In these challenging economic times, these FY12 funding allocations signal ongoing support for the arts in Washington. TCG looks forward to our continued arts advocacy work with the field during 2012!