Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Advocacy ToolKit: #SaveTheArts

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Latest Updates

May 24: The Trump administration released its complete budget request for FY 2018 on May 23.  The proposal retains Trump's request to terminate the federal cultural grant-making institutions, 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.

The White House does not determine how federal dollars are spent.  Congress has the responsibility to fund programs and agencies. You can send emails, call, and use social media to contact your legislators about stopping these proposed cuts today.

May 12: Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement on the FY2017 spending bill that not only maintains federal arts funding, it carries increases of nearly $2 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, making their proposed line items $150 million each. Read more on our blog. 

March 28: The Administration sent a new, detailed proposal outlining $18 billion in cuts in the current budget year - FY 2017. The Administration calls for a $15 million cut to the NEA and an equal, proposed cut of $15 million to the National Endowment for the Humanities. This proposal, if approved, would reduce their respective budgets from $148 million to $133 million for FY 2017.

Background and Action Steps

On Thursday, March 16, the White House officially announced plans to eliminate federal funding for arts and culture, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), for FY 2018.

This is the first American president in history to propose zeroing out all funding for the nation’s federal cultural agencies. That's not all: the White House is also proposing to privatize the  Corporation for Public Broadcasting and eliminate funding for 49 National Historic Sites. Find more about what’s at stake below.

Your actions will make a difference! Here are five action steps you can take right now:

1. Call your representatives: Calling your legislators is the most effective way to reach them. Use our phone script to urge your representatives to not eliminate federal funding for the arts.

2.  Send emails directly to your representatives: Use our form here to ask them to #SaveTheArts. (Don't live in the general Philadelphia region? Head over here to send your emails.)

3. Post on social media: Check out our social media toolkit below for suggested tweets and #SaveTheArts graphics.

4. Sign up for arts advocacy alerts for more updates as this budget is debated by Congress in the coming weeks.

5. Donate to support our advocacy efforts with a monthly or one-time donation.

Your support is critical in the coming weeks as Congress develops the federal budget. Please stay tuned for updates as the budget process and our response to it evolve. Every one of us must speak out against these proposed cuts - make your voice loud, and be heard!. With your help, we can ensure that the arts remain accessible and affordable for all. 

What’s at stake?

Below is a chart that contains the White House budget requests for the cultural agencies.  

The White House continues its recommendation to eliminate the nation’s key federal cultural agencies for the arts, humanities, museums, libraries, and public broadcasting by allocating the minimal amount “for expenses necessary to carry out their closure.” The budget proposal also eliminates important arts education and afterschool grant programs.

Federally Funded Arts
FY 2016
Enacted Appropriations
(in millions)
FY 2017
Enacted Appropriations
(in millions)
White House's FY 2018
Budget Proposal
(in millions)
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) $148 $150 $29
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) $148 $150 $42
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) $230 $231 $23
Assistance for Arts Education (through the US Dept. of Ed) $27 $27 $0
Student Support & Academic Enrichment Grants (Well-Rounded Education - new grants authorized under ESSA)  -  $400 $0
21st Century Community Learning Centers $1,140 $1,190 $0
Corporation for Public Broadcasting $445 (advanced) $445 (advanced) $30
FY 19 cancelled
Office of Museum Services $31 $32 $0
Save America's Treasures $0 $5 $0
Educational & Cultural Exchange (US Dept. of State) $590 $634 $285
Smithsonian Institution $840 $863 $947
US Holocaust Memorial Museum $54 $57 $54
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $36 $36 $36.7
Commission of Fine Arts $2.65 $2.8 $2.6
National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs $2 $2 $0
National Gallery of Art $148 $155.5 $147


Source: Americans for the Arts 

In the News

Time, July 5: Tim Kaine: People Like Condi Rice and Albert Einstein Show Why We Need the Arts

Newsworks, April 6: In face of Trump plan for funding cuts, Philly region launches activism for art's sake, April 6: Arts groups fight Trump's proposed budget cuts

New York Times, March 24: If You Like the Arts, Save the N.E.A., Advocates Tell Lawmakers, March 24: Here's what's at stake for Philly arts and culture if the NEA and other agencies get axed, March 24: Commentary: Philly arts leaders urge support for NEA 

Washington Post, March 22: Mike Huckabee: A conservative plea for the National Endowment for the Arts

Philadelphia Business Journal, March 16: Cultural Alliance: Cutting arts & humanities endowments would put 'great pressure upon the business community'

New York Times, March 15: Trump Proposes Eliminating the Arts and Humanities Endowments

#SaveTheArts Social Media Toolkit

Social media is a simple and effective method for reinforcing our message to elected officials. Below you’ll find graphics to share, a printable to show why you support the arts, and suggested language for social media posts. Make sure to tag your representatives in your messages:

  • Senator Pat Toomey: @SenToomey
  • Senator Bob Casey: @SenBobCasey
  • 1st Congressional District’s Representative Bob Brady: @RepBrady
  • 2nd Congressional District’s Representative Dwight Evans: @RepDwightEvans
  • 6th Congressional District’s Representative Ryan Costello: @RepRyanCostello
  • 7th Congressional District’s Patrick Meehan: @RepMeehan
  • 8th Congressional District’s Brian Fitzpatrick: @RepBrianFitz
  • 13th Congressional District’s Representative Brendan Boyle:  @CongBoyle

Need to find someone else? Find your senators’ accounts on this Twitter list and find your representative’s account on this Twitter list.

Download these graphics to show your support for the campaign:

Click the thumbnails below for larger versions you can save. 

Facebook post:


Twitter post:


Facebook Profile Photo/Twitter Profile Photo/Instagram: 


Suggested Messaging for Tweets and Facebook Posts:

Support federal funding for the arts, including the #IMLS #NEA #NEH #CPB #SaveTheArts #FedFundsMatter Tweet It! 

America needs arts and humanities to be great!  Keep #NEA #NEH #CPB #IMLS #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

Philadelphia’s cultural orgs, between 2012 + 2017, received more than $7.7 million from the #NEA alone: #SaveTheArts Tweet It! 

The arts and culture sector is a $704 billion industry--4.2% of the nation’s GDP! #SaveTheArts #FedFundsMatters Tweet It! 

The arts generate 4.7 million American jobs and a trade surplus of $245 billion. #SaveTheArts #FedFundsMatter Tweet It! 

NEA/NEH/CPB are a tiny fraction of federal spending – but leverage a great deal of other support for the arts #SaveTheArts #FedFundsMatter Tweet It! 

Grants from NEA and NEH serve every congressional district. #SaveTheArts today! #FedFundsMatter Tweet It!

40% of NEA-supported activities take place in high-poverty neighborhoods. #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

In 2016, 55% of Americans favored doubling the NEA’s budget.  #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

Why Art Matters to America: via @nytimes #NEA #artsadvocacy #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

The arts are a $704 billion industry. Support the #NEH #NEA #IMLS and #CPB. #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

The arts equal jobs, employing 4.7 million workers.  #SaveTheArts #NEA #Arts #artsadvocacy Tweet It!

Five things you didn’t know were funded by the #NEH #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

In 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts supported hundreds of projects.  Find them all here: #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

#TBT: In 1969, Mister Rogers voiced support for public broadcasting Help #SaveTheArts Tweet It! 

#NEA makes up a tiny fraction of the federal budget, yet its impact on art & culture is immense  #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

The impact of the @NEAarts on American culture #SaveTheArts + #NEA today! Tweet It!

Each day, 4.8 million Americans go to work in Arts and Culture industries: #ArtsAdvocacy #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

#NEA makes up a tiny fraction of the federal budget, but keeps America’s museums alive: #SaveTheArts Tweet It!

Print This Out!

Click the image below to print out this PDF! Fill it out with why you love the arts and then take a photo with it to share on social. Be sure to tag @philculture and #SaveTheArts! 


Don't have Twitter? Email us your photo at and we'll share it!

Phone Script

Read our guide to calling your representatives and when you’re ready to call, look up your representatives here.

Phone Script in Support of the NEA, NEH, IMLS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Hello! Thank you for taking my call. I'm a constituent from [CITY/TOWN] and I am calling to express my support for 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. I understand President Trump is considering eliminating the NEA and NEH, IMLS and privatizing our public broadcasting.

Do you know what [elected official]’s position is on this proposal?

Thank you. As a constituent, I hope that the [congressman/senator] will reject all attempts to terminate or reduce the size and scope of the NEA, NEH, IMLS and to privatize public broadcasting. These institutions create jobs, educate children, support arts learning at any age, and promote access to the arts in every community across America. 

Thank you again for your time.