A grant from the NEA helped Miami City Ballet present its centennial celebration of Jerome Robbins. Photo by Kyle Froman, Courtesy MCB

The NEA Is Getting a Budget Increase, But the Fight for Its Survival Isn't Over Yet

The fate of the National Endowment for the Arts has had us on tenterhooks (and off...and on again) since the election of Donald Trump. (Actually, we've been on and off tenterhooks about it more or less since it was founded.)

But yesterday, despite the administration's repeated proposals to terminate the agency, Congress put forward a funding budget for 2018 that increased the NEA's funding to $152.8 million, up by nearly $3 million from last year. Earlier today, Trump signed off on it, despite rumblings that he might exercise his veto power.

That means the NEA—and the potentially game-changing funding it grants to dance and other arts organizations around the country—will live to see another day. But don't relax just yet.

Concerted arts advocacy efforts spanning the last year are behind the NEA's survival. The Trump administration has already put forward another termination proposal in the new budget request for 2019, which means that #SAVEtheNEA is turning into a marathon, not a sprint.

So let's all take a breath, celebrate this victory and get back to work.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.