What you’ll lose when the NEA is scrapped

What you’ll lose when the NEA is scrapped


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2017

Tega Brain has compiled a long list of all the will go when President Trump shuts the arts funding agency.

Read here.


  • Ed says:

    The recent grants seem to be more about diversity and social justice than they are about the arts.

    ‘Brain drew the data straight from the agency’s website; here, rephrased in one-liners that summarize each grant, you get a clear sense of the diversity of the funded projects: art workshops for state prisons in San Bernadino; a concert for LGBTQ youth in Minnesota; a music outreach program for immigrants and refugees in Nebraska; an indigenous film festival in Denver; a puppetry program in Detroit; a performance collaboration between artists and homeless veterans in Connecticut; and exhibitions that examine issues related to income inequality in Alabama, to name just a few. From the identities of those involved to the medium or format of each project to the regions where they occur, the information provided on Brain’s site makes abundantly clear that the NEA is an essential government agency that benefits a vast array of citizens across the country.’

    • MWnyc says:

      There’s plenty of “mainstream” stuff that the NEA funds as well. The idea with the stuff you’ve mentioned is that those are small-scale projects to bring the arts to people who don’t get to see or take part in them as much as, say, Slipped Disc readers do, and if the NEA doesn’t fund them, probably no one else will.

      For whatever one thinks that’s worth.

  • Webster Young says:

    Newsday New York was kind enough to publish my opinion on funding the NEA the last time cutting was debated. I believe the Trump administration has made no comment on this question so far. I am recirculating that article now…most of it is still relevant. Here is the link (please share):


  • Webster Young says:

    I just read that the budget includes scrapping the NEA…did not know that had been submitted. Don’t know if there is still hope now. I have contacts to some Trump advisors, and have been pushing for a new and better NEA…

    • Petros Linardos says:

      More power to you for seeking to influence decision makers. What is presently happening in government in general and with their NEA plans (or lack thereof) is beyond deplorable.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    I am generally opposed to defunding the NEA not to mention opposed to the new oligarch in office. However, if it means not having to ever see/hear Bocelli, Rieu, Evancho (pace the inauguration), Il Volo, and other detritus, then so be it.

    • V.Lind says:

      I don’t think the artists you mention are the sort being funded by the NEA. They all do quite well commercially. Read the list.

      I don’t know what it is about conservatives and art. Some cabinet clown in Bush’s lot wanted to fig leaf statues in one of the corridors of power. They are so afraid of anything with ideas beyond their own limited worldview. The funding is insignificant to the federal budget but useful, and in some cases crucial, to the artists who receive some support.

      Perhaps some of the choices for funding have been dubious — at least controversial, But that is part of the nature of art. The great English actress Joan Plowright once said that subsidy gave artists the all-important right to fail. But America, with its marketplace mentality, where they know the price of everything and the value of nothing (to quote another great artist, one whom Trump and his conservative cronies would no doubt disapprove of), can’t see past profit. The dollars and cents kind. They are unaware of spiritual profit.

    • John says:

      Not really a time to be glib

  • Steve P says:

    As soon as the arts community openly started leftist politicking on govt dime, the writing was on the wall. I love great art and music, but this NEA cabal has ruined itself and wound up costing many young people an opportunity to experience art and music. Just play music and SHUT UP ABOUT POLITICS! Is that so hard?

  • John McLaughlin Williams says:

    Yes, Steve, that exactly. Just sing, play, draw, dance, act and write, but don’t go full SJW and expect your bills to be federally funded. Artists may have an implicit mission to confront the world around them as they see it, but one cannot expect the targets of such righteous condemnation to underwrite their own persecution.