The President’s budget came out this week and proposed the elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts and other cultural agencies. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts has organized this event to collect stories about the importance of our national leadership in the arts and culture and the impact of the agencies in Minnesota. Rep. Betty McCollum, ranking member of the committee that funds the NEA and cultural agencies, will be present to hear testimony. There will be time for brief public testimony after scheduled presentations by grantees.
ABOUT THE NEA IN MINNESOTA: Although Minnesota is the 21st state by population, we are 8th highest in per capita grants from the NEA. Minnesota beats other states competing for NEA grants because our arts organizations are some of the best in the country. The Minnesota State Arts Board receives $770,000 per year from the NEA, most of which is re-granted out across the state. Minnesota’s nonprofit arts organizations received another 72 direct grants, with at least one in every congressional district. Arts Midwest in Minneapolis runs several national programs for the NEA including the Big Read and Shakespeare in Communities, and there are 26 Blue Star Museums in Minnesota that work in cooperation with the NEA to provide free admission to active military and their families. Minnesota has 104,000 artists and creative workers and 1601 nonprofit arts and culture organizations statewide, the biggest arts sector than any surrounding state. Because Minnesota gets more money than other states from the NEA we would be hit harder by its elimination.