Plattsburgh, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today visited the Strand Center for the Arts and stood with community leaders to call on the Senate to reject President Trump’s budget proposal to zero out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
“The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities allow families and community organizations to help give our children the chance to experience and learn about art, music, dance, language, and literature,” said Senator Gillibrand. “If these programs are taken away, it would particularly hurt rural communities and small towns like those throughout the North Country. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities give local museums in small towns more resources to teach students on field trips, and they fund educational programming on PBS beloved by children and their families, they give veterans a new lens to understand their experiences and reintegrate into their communities. We should never allow these programs to be cut, and I will continue to do everything in my power to stand up for communities that don’t have a lot of resources and rely on these programs.”
“The Strand Center for the Arts has nearly completed the $4,000,000.00 restoration of the Strand Center Theatre. Approximately $2,000,000.00 came from state and federal arts and historic preservation grant funding. The Strand Center Theatre has been identified as a major economic driver, not only for the City of Plattsburgh, but for the entire Adirondack Coast. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo chose the Strand Center Theatre as the location to announce the $10,000,000.00 Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award to Downtown Plattsburgh,” said Joshua Kretser, Executive Director of The Strand Center for the Arts. “A community who truly wishes to thrive must have a thriving arts and cultural scene. Also, grants from the New York State Council on the Arts help subsidize arts and education programming and general operating expenses which enable us to best serve our community. I would like to thank Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer for not only advocating for initiatives which have and continue to benefit the Strand Center for the Arts, but also arts and cultural initiatives throughout New York State.”
The NEA and NEH have an annual budget of $148 million each. President Trump’s recently released budget proposes to zero out funding for both of these institutions. In 2016, New York institutions were awarded 538 grants from the NEA, totaling more than $17 million. New York received 111 grants from the NEH the same year, totaling more than $12.6 million.