The NEA Needs Our Help

Dear Friends, Arts Supporters, and Artists: 

The White House has released its proposed budget to Congress, and as you may already know, it officially recommends full termination of funding of both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for FY2018.

Eliminating the NEA would be a devastating blow for arts and cultural programming across our great country, but I want to make sure you know specifically what a devastating impact this would have locally here in Guilford County. Over the last 10 years, the National Endowment for the Arts has invested $740,000 directly into Guilford County’s arts economy. This includes grants to organizations like the Eastern Music Festival, Triad Stage, Greensboro Symphony, Elsewhere Collaborative, and UNC Greensboro – much of it to support educational programs for our children, as well as protecting jobs during the Great Recession.

And the ripple effects are potentially catastrophic.

NEA funds also support the work of the North Carolina Arts Council – approximately 10% of the $406,000 supporting the creative economy in Guilford County this year. NEA support also reflects great honor on our region, recognizing high achievement and service to our community – and just as importantly – requires and leverages exponential private support with great economic impact in the bargain.

The most recent study by Americans for the Arts estimates the economic impact of the arts & culture in Guilford County to be more than $118 million a year, responsible for 4,200 FTE jobs, making the arts a Top Ten employer in Guilford County.

While this is just the beginning of the federal appropriations process, we must sustain our advocacy efforts throughout the process. I urge you to begin now by calling your representatives in Congress and ask them to oppose any decrease or elimination of funding to the NEA and the NEH. Let us work together so that there is no question of where Guilford County stands on its passionate support for arts and culture for the people.

For more information about who to call and what to say, please visit the Americans for the Arts Action Center.

Thank you.

Thomas Philion
President & CEO, ArtsGreensboro