$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts has made it into the final stimulus bill being voted on in Congress. From WHYY’s Arts and Culture desk, Alex Schmidt reports.
A mini firestorm was set off in the arts community when senate Republicans sponsored an amendment that removed NEA funding from the stimulus package. Arts advocacy groups like the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance collect data that helps demonstrate the economic impact of the arts to elected officials. Peggy Amsterdam is president of the Alliance.
Amsterdam: “I think there are a lot of people on Capitol Hill who realize the tremendous economic impact that arts and culture provide to the community. In recent years, the US Conference of Mayors, National Governors Association, have all used arts and culture in their economic stimulus strategies.”
The pending stimulus funding stipulates that the $50 million go to job retention in the arts. Though arts organizations have been spared, the amendment does not allocate any stimulus money for aquariums and zoos.