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

March 22, 2018

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.