From our inception, VLA has played an important role as an advocate for the arts community, from litigation, to making public statements about matters of interest to the arts community, and making recommendations about pending legislation.
As most of you are aware, the White House has issued a budget proposal for FY 2018 that proposes to eliminate all funding to the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) and the Humanities (NEH). On March 28, 2017, the White House proposed that Congress cut $18 billion immediately out of the current year’s FY 2017 budget, which has yet to be approved. Specifically to the arts, this proposal attempts to cut $15 million each from the NEA and NEH, which would wreak havoc in being able to administer pre-scheduled grants to nonprofit and governmental arts agencies at the local and state level.
This year, along with 700 other arts organizations, VLA participated in Arts Advocacy Day, sponsored by Americans for the Arts. This organization coordinated efforts of hundreds of organizations affected by the proposed cuts to the arts and humanities. These entities depend on NEA and NEH grants for funding and recognition that helps them to raise private funds based on that recognition. These cuts will drastically affect the quality of life for Americans who rely on the services provided by the arts community. We encourage all artists and citizens to communicate with their representatives how important and necessary the arts are to the vitality of our American culture and society.