Magazine article Dance Magazine

A $10 Million Boost for the NEA. (News)

Magazine article Dance Magazine

A $10 Million Boost for the NEA. (News)

Article excerpt

The new millennium has been good for the National Endowment for the Arts. Success that started with the 106th Congress, elected during the Clinton administration, has gained even more steam in the current Congress. In June 2001, four representatives--Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT), and Steve Horn (R-CA)--co-sponsored a floor amendment to increase the Bush administration's proposed $105 million NEA allotment for 2002 by $10 million. The increase was approved by the Senate in July. Then on November 5, President Bush signed H.R. 2217, the bill that contained the increase, into law.

The amendment passed the House 221 to 193 and the support seemed to indicate a shift in Congressional attitudes toward the arts. In 2000, Slaughter spearheaded a proposal to defer $22 million from the clean coal technology account and hoped to give $15 million of that to the NEA. But representatives instead voted to use the money to improve Native American healthcare. In the end, then-Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) marked up the Senate version of the bill with a $7 million increase for the NEA while it was being considered by the appropriations subcommittee. That increase ultimately made it through the Congressional process.

In 2001, the NEA feared it might see the $10 million increase for financial year 2002 slip away after Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) led an attempt to divert the extra funds into fuel conservation accounts. But his amendment failed by 145 to 264.

Arts advocates attribute much of the NEA's recent political success to the popularity of Challenge America, an outreach initiative that the NEA launched in 2000. …

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