Article Published: 06 Dec 2022

Arts Advocacy Update

Please Urge for Increased FY2023 Funding for Federal Arts and Cultural-Related Agencies; Temporary Government Funding Bill Expires December 16

The federal government, including all federal arts and cultural-related agencies, is operating under an FY2023 temporary funding bill that expires on December 16. Congress is currently in session with the top priority to pass legislation to fund the government for the remainder of FY2023, ending September 30, 2023.

Please urge your federal elected officials, especially your U.S. Senators, to pass increased appropriations (at least $207 million) for all federal arts and cultural-related agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The NEA is the only funder, public or private, that provides access to the arts in all 435 congressional districts, 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Please use this OPERA America action alert that will allow members and interested stakeholders to quickly send advocacy messages to their federal elected officials.

Contact Your Elected Officials

BRIEF BACKGROUND

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a six-bill appropriations package (totaling $405 billion) that funds several federal agencies and programs for FY2023 beginning October 1, 2022. Congress is tasked each fiscal year to pass 12 appropriations bills that fund all federal agencies and programs. H.R. 8294, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2023, provides $207 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Here is a press release from the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. The bill is in the U.S. Senate for consideration. The $207 million amount would be the highest level of funding for the NEA and NEH. Both federal agencies are currently funded at $180 million for FY2022.

LIKELY SCENARIO

Congress is currently considering the passage of another temporary funding bill until December 23 or until the end of the year to allow for more time to pass permanent funding legislation. Negotiations among congressional leaders center on determining top-line funding numbers for non-defense spending and defense spending. Once congressional leaders agree to those top-line numbers, Congress will consider an omnibus appropriations package that combines all 12 appropriations bills that fund all the federal agencies and programs. OPERA America is working with its partners across the arts and cultural sector to ensure the omnibus appropriations package includes “at least $207 million” for the NEA and NEH.

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