April 10, 2017

Standing at the Ontario County Historical Society, Senator Gillibrand Calls on Senate to Reject President Trump's Cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities

Canandaigua, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today visited the Ontario County Historical Society 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 communities and towns like those throughout the Finger Lakes. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities give local organizations 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 Ontario County Historical Society and its local history museum is able to serve our mission thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over the years we have been able to take advantage of NEH and IMLS grants in developing our museum’s local history programs. If this funding was not available it would significantly affect the quality of our research programs, exhibits and education offerings,” said Edward Varno, Executive Director, Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua, NY.

“At a time when libraries face unstable funding, the proposed cuts are devastating. This affects not only libraries, museums, art organizations but the communities they serve. Libraries across the nation rely on grants from these federal institutions to offer and expand quality programming. Wood Library was the lucky recipient of 3 consecutive NEA grants that allowed us to provide an educational program series when budget cuts were on the horizon. It is without a doubt that these grants in turn enhance the quality of life in a community. The fact that this funding may disappear is deeply disturbing,” said Jenny Goodemote, Executive Director of Wood Library.

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.