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Behind the Curtain

By Susan McGreevy-Nichols
Posted on 6/1/2017 11:50 AM
Last week, we learned that the White House has officially proposed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts in fiscal year 2018. NDEO recognizes that this decision, if enacted, would be devastating to the arts and arts education in America. We are asking our members and all supporters of the arts to join us in our advocacy efforts to help #SavetheNEA. 

On May 23, 2017, the White House released the details of the Fiscal Year Budget 2018, offering a cataclysmic blow to federal funding for the arts, humanities, and public broadcasting. The budget allocates only minimal funds for the National Endowment for the Arts, which are designated "for expenses necessary to carry out (its) closure."  In addition, all federal funding for arts education and afterschool grant programs is eliminated in this budget. 

The National Dance Education Organization has benefited from financial support from the NEA for over twelve years. NEA grants have been essential to the development and growth of many of our signature programs and publications, including the Online Professional Development Institute, Dance Entry Level Teacher's Assessment (DELTA) Exam, National Core Arts Standards in Dance Professional Development Series, and Evidence: A Report on the Impact of Dance in the K12 Setting. In addition, many of our members rely on NEA funding to support the programs that provide their employment. The NEA supports non-profit community arts organizations, presenting venues, university-affiliated programs, dance companies and festivals. A diverse range of programs are supported, including those centered on arts education, community engagement, and professional performance.

We are asking for your continued support in advocating for the National Endowment for the Arts. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Take two minutes to email and call your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative and urge them to support the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Use this tool from Americans for the Arts to send a customizable tweet to your Members of Congress. Click the Twitter logo on that page to pull up the customizable message that will automatically be sent to your specific Congressional delegation. 
  • Use the hashtag #SavetheNEA and #DanceEducationforALL on social media and share your story: Why are the arts important to you? Why is federal support for the arts important? Why do you support the NEA? This tool from Americans for the arts can provide important facts and figures to support your argument. 
Stay informed: Follow the NDEO  Advocacy Forum for updates and action items involving the NEA and other pressing legislative issues. You can also join the Arts Action Fund (for free) to receive alerts from Americans for the Arts about pressing legislative issues. 

Thank you for all that you do to support dance arts education in your school or studio, community, and nation! 
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