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Budget Bill Retains Funding for Arts Agencies, Public Broadcasting

Variety logo Variety 5/2/2017 Ted Johnson
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A budget deal reached over the weekend spares funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and even increases money to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities.

President Trump’s budget plans had called for cutting back on the funding for the arts agencies for the rest of 2017, or through September, and proposed eliminating money to the groups in next year’s budget.

The budget plan calls for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to be funded at the same level, of $445 million (its budget actually is advanced appropriation for fiscal year 2019). The NEA and NEH would actually each see an increase to $150 million, from $148 million.

“Increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts will allow more people to exercise that muscle and develop the creative thinking skills necessary to foster the next generation of American ingenuity and innovation,” said Tim Daly, the president of the Creative Coalition, which advocates for arts funding.

Americans for the Arts and America’s Public Television Stations were among the groups that lobbied heavily once Trump’s budget plan was unveiled. They are expected to continue to pressure Congress to resist the calls to eliminate the agencies in the next fiscal year.

The budget plan, which will fund the government through Sept. 30, is expected to be passed by Congress by the end of the week and signed by Trump.

Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations, said that the “funding is powerful evidence of the growing bipartisan support for our work in education, public safety and civic leadership, and we are particularly appreciative of the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for being such stalwart champions of public broadcasting.”

“Americans by the millions have risen to our defense when public media funding was challenged, and we are most grateful for their passionate advocacy.”

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