Minnesota Congressional Delegation Asked to Sign Letter in Support of the NEA

August 3, 2000

Minnesota Congressional Delegation Asked to Sign Letter in Support of the NEA
ACTION REQUESTED: send in your postcards to encourage their continued support

In light of recent events, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts has requested the Minnesota Congressional Delegation (all eight Members of Congress and two Senators) to sign a letter to the Interior Appropriations conferees in support of the National Endowment for the Arts proposed increase in the Senate version of the bill.

Minnesotans enjoy an overwhelmingly supportive Congressional delegation in favor of NEA funding. Seven of the eight Members of Congress in the House are members of the Congressional Member Organization for the arts, and most have been good friends of the arts in other ways. Because of their active involvement, we have asked them to sign a letter in support of the Senate’s $7 million proposed increase for the NEA when reconciling the differences between the Senate and the House versions of the Interior Appropriations bill.

Here is where you fit in. Send your Member of Congress and the two Senators a letter requesting that they sign on to the delegation letter in support of the NEA, or send in your pink postcards asking the same (included in our most recent newsletter to members).

Members who have signed on already are Reps. Oberstar, Sabo, Vento, Minge, Luther, Ramstad and Peterson. Who hasn’t (as of August 3)? Wellstone, Gutknecht and Grams.

The text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Chairman and Ranking Minority Member:

We are writing to request that you support the proposed Senate increase for the National Endowment for the Arts to $105 million in the Interior Appropriations bill.

The NEA plays a major role in the economic and social development between businesses, communities, schools and individuals. In partnership with state and local resources, NEA funds act as a catalyst for ensuring access to the arts for all individuals, attracting other funding sources and providing a necessary service for increasingly diverse communities. Strong funding for the arts helps children and communities express themselves and develop complete cognitive skills through arts education programming. The NEA also helps economically disadvantaged children and adults gain access to cultural experiences in which they would not otherwise be able to participate.

Overall, 92% of Minnesotans believe that the arts are crucial to their quality of life. As studies have repeatedly shown, the arts are very important to Americans, and particularly to Minnesotans. A good balance of funding sources suggests a strong commitment to ensure continued economic stimulation and growth, a well-rounded education, increased cultural tourism and dynamic community involvement.

We urge your support of the full Senate increase for the NEA.