Trump's Budget Cuts Worry State's Arts And Cultural Leaders

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President Trump's first federal budget proposal is targeting the National Endowment for the Arts, threatening to cease funding to the agency and similar organizations, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) director Neal Benezra says the museum couldn't have co-curated its current Matisse/Diebenkorn show without NEA support, seeing as paintings by Matisse are valued in the millions and tens of millions of dollars.

Trump's budget proposal does not just slash funding for the endowments, which combined have an annual budget of about $300 million, but is the first of any Presidents' to propose completely eliminating them. Both endowments fund state humanities councils and art agencies, which in turn disseminate funds to local communities.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the NEA and NEH into law in 1965.

MCC executive director Anita Walker.

Money from the NEA and NEH finds its way to Wisconsin to help fuel the state's arts scene and enrich its cultural life.

This is why it is vital to support and advocate for the continued federal funding of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Actor Ricardo Medina is pictured at the Lambda Legal Liberty Awards at the Egyptian Theater on September 28, 2005, in Hollywood. However, Medina reportedly started acting "erratically" after Sutter was hired and the two would argue "frequently".

Both endowments have come under scrutiny in the past from conservatives looking to slash their funding or eliminate their funding entirely. Shindle pointed to the growth and development around the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood Theatre Row as examples of the economic impact of arts investment.

Recent programs have ranged from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum's "Talking Spirits" program, where schoolchildren learn about Civil War history with the help of live costumed actors, to a recent collaboration with the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters to showcase a revival of Wisconsin Oneida beadwork.

And the SDAC receives half of their funding from the NEA.

"There has never been an administration like this one, so we don't know what to expect", he said. "For us to have that kind of stamp of approval has been incredible in the growth of this company". The amount of grants varies from year to year, depending on what projects and presentations the arts venues are developing. A lot of this grant money goes to funding game design programs and classes in education or to support games that seek to promote social change or educate.

"What's happening when producing companies get funded is that you lose any aspect of creative destruction, so when you unsubsidize companies that are actually trying to tighten their belts and create new ways to bring in more audience, not for-profit companies and the companies that the NEA funds are more incentivized to go after grants than they are to go after the audiences", Mr. Marcus tells the Monitor in a phone interview.

Marcus said the loss of NEA funding will not stop people from making art. Rorschach says that art may not have traveled here without that support.

"Typically if we get a state budget cut there is an immediate, but temporary, uptick in giving", Brett said.

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