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Congressional Panel Proposes Cuts to Federal Arts Funding

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies has just approved a spending bill that includes cuts to valuable federal arts programs. The proposal, which allocates federal dollars for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year, would cut $8 million from the National Endowment for the Arts and an equal amount from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is a decrease of roughly five percent from current funding levels.

Last year, the same panel proposed slashing the NEA’s budget by 49 percent. This year’s proposal is a clear improvement. Funding cuts and inflation, however, already have substantially eroded federal support for nonprofit community arts programs in recent years.

The bill now heads to the full House Appropriations Committee for further consideration. There, amendments could be offered to shore up or cut even deeper into the NEA’s budget.

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