What’s in (or not) the new budget for federal art groups

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The recently negotiated national budget includes dramatic cuts to federally funded arts programs. The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) and NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) will each take a $12.5 million hit to their annual budget (or 7%). The IMLS (Institute of Museums and Library Services) will see a 15.7% drop in their operating budget. The National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs grant program, which supports the numerous large and small museums, theaters and libraries in the DC area, will shrink to $2.5 million from its previous budget of $9.5 million, while the National Gallery of Art will experience a 7.2% reduction. According to IMLS spokeswoman Mamie Bittner, the cuts force the agency to rethink its granting process: “should the IMLS help as many recipients as it did before, allocating smaller average grants to each? Or should it keep grants as large as before, but issue fewer to implement the $44.3 million in budget cuts?” Despite the hit, Americans for the Arts noted that the hit was “more sensible and proportional” than the suggested 26% reduction to the NEA and NEH proposed by the House Republicans. (source: Culture Monster, April 14, 2011 and Hyperallergic, April 13, 2011 and Committee  on Appropriation’s Spending Cuts the Centerpiece for Final Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2011)

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