Arts Alert: 7 of 10 MN Members of Congress Sign On to Push for Increase for NEA

Good news for those of us battling against the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. Seven of Minnesota’s members of Congress are not only opposed to eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts – they are asking for an increase in funding.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL, District 4 – St. Paul) is the lead Democrat on the Interior Committee which funds the NEA, NEH and other cultural agencies, and is hard at work organizing her peers to support and increase funding for the cultural agencies. She is working with Americans for the Arts on building more support. (Photo: Rep. Betty McCollum)

Over in the Senate, Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) both signed onto a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by the Senate Cultural Caucus, which is co-chaired by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). The letter asked for an increase for both the NEA and NEH to $149.8M for fiscal year 2018.

Representatives Tim Walz (D – Southern MN), Keith Ellison (D – Mpls), Colin Peterson (D – Western MN), and Rick Nolan (D – Northern MN) all signed on to a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by the House Art Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ). Their letter asked for an increase for the NEA to $155M for fiscal year 2018.

FY 2016 funding for the NEA was just short of $148M.

If your member of Congress doesn’t show up on this list, ask them to support the arts here: https://www.votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/campaigns

Thank you Representatives McColllum, Walz, Ellison, Peterson and Nolan
and Senators Franken and Klobuchar!

Top Ten Reasons Minnesota Loves the NEA:

10. MN has 104,000 artists & creative workers and 1601 nonprofit arts & culture orgs statewide, the biggest arts sector among all surrounding states. creativeMN.org

9. Because MN gets more $ than other states from NEA, we would be hit harder than others by elimination.

8. There are 26 of NEA’s BLUE STAR MUSEUMS in MN that give free admission to active military & families. 

7. @ArtsMidwest in Mpls. runs SHAKESPEARE IN COMMUNITIES for NEA serving 195 schools in 54 MN counties.

6. @ArtsMidwest in Mpls. runs national programs for the NEA from Mpls. , including the BIG READ

5. MN arts organizations got 72 direct grants from the NEA last year, with at least 1 in every congressional district.

4. The MN State Arts Board gets $770K/year from the NEA and most of that is regranted out across the state.

3. MN beats other states competing for NEA $ because our arts organizations are awesome.

2. Although we are the 21st state by population, we are 8th highest in per capita $ from the NEA.

1. How does the NEA benefit MN? MN received $5.6M from the NEA last year. This is just under $1 per capita.