Support efforts to maintain NEA funding
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently approved a bill that would slash funding for the National Endowment for the Arts by 49 percent.
This reduction would have significant consequences for our nonprofit organizations that serve the residents of Sussex County and surrounding communities. Grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, which works in partnership with NEA, supplement the revenues we generate independently through ticket sales, foundation grants, and donations from businesses and individuals. Without NEA support, our ability to deliver quality programming and to provide educational opportunities for young people would be severely limited.
Students with an education rich in the arts have better grade point averages, score better on standardized tests in reading and math, and have lower dropout rates - findings that cut across all socio-economic categories. If anything, Congress should support an expansion of the federal arts education program to provide the best models for schools to include the arts in their curriculum.
Lawmakers also should maintain, if not increase, funding for organizations that provide important cultural and educational opportunities for the communities they serve. Studies show there’s a great return on such investments. According to Americans for the Arts, non-profit arts organizations nationwide generate $22.3 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues annually - a yield well beyond the $4 billion in public funding they receive. The organization also found that arts and culture non-profits in Delaware generate more than $142 million in total economic activity, support more than 3,800 full-time equivalent jobs, and produce nearly $10 million in revenues for the state and local governments.
We encourage Sussex County residents to join us in urging senators Carper and Coons and Rep. Carney to reject reductions in the NEA budget, and to support policies that leverage the arts to promote educational achievement and economic development.
president, Coastal Concerts Inc.
chair, Clear Space Theatre Company
president, Rehoboth Art League
president, Rehoboth Beach Film Society