Arts Advocacy Update (1)
Under a proposed omnibus appropriations package that funds the federal government for the remainder of FY2023, ending September 30, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) would receive $207 million, an increase of $27 million over FY2022-enacted funding levels. This is based on the amount that the U.S. House passed back in July.
According to the Senate Appropriations Committee summary of the package, the increase to both federal agencies “will support popular special initiatives like the NEA military healing arts program and the NEH’s 'A More Perfect Union' initiative to highlight the nation's shared history, and also will go out as grants to the states for local art and humanities programs.”
The bill provides $1.114 billion for the Smithsonian Institution, $82 million more than FY2022; provides funding for the National Gallery of Art at $209.2 million; and provides funding for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at $45.3 million. Congress is considering the proposed funding package this week and will likely pass the package by December 23, when a temporary funding bill expires. OPERA America appreciates the advocacy efforts by its members and interested stakeholders within the opera community and overall arts and cultural sector in urging Congress to support increased funding for the arts and cultural-related agencies.
Tsione Wolde-Michael Named Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities
Tsione Wolde-Michael, the founding director of the Smithsonian’s Center for Restorative History, has been named executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The PCAH was re-established by a recent executive order issued by the president to promote excellence in the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services and demonstrate their relevance to the country’s health, economy, equity, and civic life, among other things.
Ms. Wolde-Michael is the youngest and first Black individual to direct the PCAH and will also lead 25 non-federal leaders in advising the president on policy objectives, private/public partnerships, and programs to support and increase access to the arts, humanities, and museum and library services. The White House is expected to announce the rest of the committee members in the coming weeks. Wolde-Michael’s position will be hosted by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.