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Arts Advocacy: The Latest State and Federal Budget Updates

Currently, we have updates on both the Pennsylvania state budget and federal arts funding. Please continue to watch for arts advocacy updates from the Cultural Alliance, especially as the June 30 deadline for the state budget approaches.

Contact Your State Senator to Keep Funding for the PA Council on the Arts in the Budget

While both Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal for FY 2017-18 and the appropriations bill passed by the House recommend level funding for grants to the arts at $9.59 million (PA Council on the Arts) and $2 million for cultural and historical support through the PA Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), neither the Governor nor the House included direct funding for these grants in their budget proposals. This makes them easier to fully remove in the future.

The Senate may amend the House bill or draft their own budget bill. To ensure that funding for all state programs continues uninterrupted, the General Assembly must pass and the governor must sign the budget by midnight on June 30.

We need you to reach out to your senator to ask for their support of a budget bill that includes $9.59 million for Grants to the Arts and $2 million for Cultural and Historical Support under PHMC.

Find a phone script for calling your senator on our website, including information on looking up their phone number. You can also send emails directly to their office on the Alliance’s advocacy platform.

Full 2018 Budget Proposal Released by the White House

The Trump administration recently released its complete budget request for FY 2018, which maintains the termination of federal arts funding, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Also slated for elimination are the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Assistance for Arts Education.

However, the White House does not determine how federal dollars are spent: Congress has the responsibility to fund programs and agencies. 

We will continue to update you as this budget progresses on the federal level. You can also find a phone script and an email template for contacting your federal legislators on our #SaveTheArts page. The Cultural Alliance is aware that many areas of interest are hit in this proposed budget, above and beyond arts issues, and we encourage you to take advantage of our Congressional phone call how-to any time you need to reach out to your representatives.

Have questions about either budget issue? Reach out to us at advocacy@philaculture.org!