April 02, 2017

Senator Gillibrand and New York Elected Leaders Urge Congress to Reject President Trump's Cuts and Save the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

New York, NY – Standing at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York leaders called on Congress to reject President Trump’s budget proposal and save the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). President Trump’s proposed budget outline released last month would eliminate all federal funding for NEA, NEH, CPB and IMLS.

“The lives of New York’s children are richer because of critical educational programs funded by these important institutions,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Not only do these programs inspire our children to learn, they also help drive New York’s economy and help create jobs. These programs provide resources to help teach our students. They fund educational programming on PBS beloved by children and their families, and they give veterans a new lens to understand their experiences and reintegrate into their communities. We should never allow these programs to be eliminated, and I will continue to do everything I can to fight these proposed cuts and restore funding.”

“The National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are each integral parts of our country’s cultural infrastructure, and Donald Trump’s proposal to severely cut if not totally eliminate to these institutions demonstrate nothing less than a desire to undermine the foundations of American culture and society,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10). “Not only do these institutions support traditional educational services—such as Sesame Street and PBS—but also many other important programs that enrich the lives of millions, including art therapy for our veterans, community orchestra performances, and Braille classes at local libraries.  To claim that eliminating these agencies will save taxpayers money is absolutely ludicrous – another falsehood perpetrated by conservatives advocating draconian cuts.  For all his talk of “make America great again,” President Trump is overseeing a complete bankruptcy in our country’s cultural heritage with these proposals.”

“We are the cultural capital of the world, and our neighborhoods are so vibrant because of the organizations that support them. Yet, Donald Trump is targeting the arts and our kids. Cutting dollars to the NEA affects families across New York City. It’s just wrong,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “That's why we did our arts report showing exactly how slashing funding for the NEA would tear at the fabric of our City. And that's why I’m so proud to stand with Senator Gillibrand and cultural institutions from across the five boroughs. We have to fight against this backwards White House agenda.”

“President Trump’s unprecedented and vicious assault on the arts and the humanities with the proposed elimination of the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and CPB would be devastating for the heart and soul of our country,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. "As the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries in the New York City Council, I will fight these cuts at every stage of the budget process. On April 3, on the steps of City Hall, hundreds will gather in support of the arts, culture, and libraries for a Rally to Save the Arts. We say loud and clear to President Trump that his blatant disregard for the importance of the arts has no place in our city and our country. I'm proud to join with Senator Gillibrand today in strong support of the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and CPB.”

“I am urging Congress in the strongest terms possible to reject President Trump’s budget proposal to eliminate all federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The president’s proposal is profoundly un-American and inherently anti-democratic. These institutions were created to enhance the public’s understanding of current events, increase access for all Americans to a wide range of scholarly resources, and enable all of us share in the country’s rich intellectual and artistic heritage. The president’s budget proposals reflect his anti-learning agenda. These institutions account for a fraction of the federal budget, yet they are all dedicated to building an educated and culturally well-rounded society, which is essential for a truly functional democracy. We reject President Trump’s actions and message, and will not live in ignorance and fear,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan).

For less than a dollar a year in taxes, the NEA, NEH and CPB provide invaluable programming that spans the United States, inspiring, entertaining and educating people from every walk of life in both red and blue states,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (Manhattan). “From institutions such as Lincoln Center to the Irish Arts Center in my Assembly district to community productions in rural counties, millions of Americans benefit from exposure to a culture and worldview different from their own. The proposed elimination of this funding represents the thinking of a boorish administration that is wholly disconnected from the people it pretends to serve.”

“The arts enrich our children’s education, our leadership in the arts helps make our country a global economic powerhouse, and the arts create jobs,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Manhattan is an arts and culture capital, but the $185 million these programs pumped into our economy between 2000 and 2016 haven’t just benefited us – they’ve enriched the entire country. Defunding the NEA, the NEH, the CPB, and the IMLS simply makes no sense.”

“The public broadcasting system is a national treasure that starts with local stations that knit together communities nationally across the country,” said Laura Walker, President and CEO of New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC and WQXR. “This kind of reach and breadth make public radio one of the few places where all Americans can come together for the civil and productive dialogue necessary for democracy to thrive. In a climate of polarization, we are committed to news over opinion, mission over clicks, and bridging divides instead of fanning partisan flames. New York Public Radio stands with the majority of Americans who use and support public broadcasting in asking Congress to continue funding this vital institution.”

“For our democracy to flourish, federal funding for culture and art is essential,” said Andrew Ackerman, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. “This funding, available to organizations large or small, allows cultural institutions to engage the public in meaningful experiences and educational opportunities.  Having equal access to these funds is especially critical for organizations that work with children as they begin their journey to become active participants in the democratic process.”

The NEA and NEH have an annual budget of $148 million each. President Trump’s recently released budget proposes to eliminate all federal funding for both of these institutions as well as all federal funding for CPB and IMLS.

Organizations in New York City received approximately $15 million from NEA, $11 million from NEH and $4 million from IMLS for FY 2016. Organizations in New York City received approximately $15 million from NEA, $11 million from NEH, and $4 million from IMLS for FY 2016, with CPB supporting public media stations serving New York City with more than $20 million in funds.

Also, according to a recent report by the Comptroller’s office, New York City received $233.2 million in NEA funding from 2000 to 2016 and 419 cultural nonprofit organizations received funding in 2016.

A recent analysis by Americans for the Arts found that New York state is home to over 50,000 arts-related businesses that employ approximately 314,000 people accounting for over 5 percent of the total businesses in New York and 3.5 percent of the people they employ.

These programs not only help New Yorkers express their values and forge connections between cultures, but they also serve as important economic drivers across the country. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector is a $704 billion industry, or 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP. The nonprofit arts industry alone produces $135 billion in economic activity annually and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue. The arts spur tourism, prepare our students for the innovative thinking required in the 21st century workplace, and employ more than 4 million people in the creative industries nationally.