Major Hollywood Guilds Call Trump's Arts Cuts 'Damaging Message to Future Generations'

President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts is "shortsighted and alarming", according to the music industry's largest organization of recording professionals. The danger is, if congress approves Trump's budget plan and abolishes the National Endowment for the Arts, the money would not be available for the grants that are vital to the Art Center's operation, Gilbert said.

The program now gets $148 million in federal funds.

Trump's budget proposal does not just slash funding for the endowments, which combined have an annual budget of about $300 million, but is the first of any Presidents' to propose completely eliminating them. They were created in 1965 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation declaring that any "advanced civilization" must fully value the arts, the humanities, and cultural activity.

"What we have here is an attack upon global citizenship and national civic culture", Jim Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, told TPM of the potential elimination of the NEH. In 1995, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and said the NEA was a frill the federal government should be shorn of.

"Ninety percent of our funding comes from the NEH".

Never one to pass up an opportunity to flaunt its fluency in contemporary art, the satirical news site The Onion reported on the proposed cuts with the article, "Trump Says Wasteful NEA Hasn't Produced Single Valuable Work Since Claes Oldenburg's "Giant Three-Way Plug"". Shindle pointed to the growth and development around the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood Theatre Row as examples of the economic impact of arts investment.


"The teachers come from all over - rural Georgia, Ohio, Wyoming, Alaska, New York - and they go back to do their schools rejuvenated", Spangler says.

"If we didn't have that, that program wouldn't exist", he said. The organization's last NEA grant was $10,000 for a community leadership program.

Advocates argue eliminating grants from the NEA and NEH would hit poor and rural communities the hardest because there isn't as much private funding available in those areas.

In a statement, CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, "There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media's education and informational programming and services".

Like Wortzel, Tzougros noted federal grants can serve as a "stamp of approval" to draw more dollars. More than $900,000 of that went directly to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, through a partnership grant, according to Greg Liakos, communications director for the council. Rorschach says that art may not have traveled here without that support.

Marcus said the loss of NEA funding will not stop people from making art. Proponents of the proposed cuts have said that the proposed elimination of the agencies will open the door to a freer arts market that forces artists to produce works that speak to local audiences, rather than to bureaucrats in Washington.

  • Kyle Peterson