President-elect Donald Trump is pledging to eliminate at least two agencies that will affect architects, designers of all sorts, and even planning initiatives.
The Washington Post quotes reporter Alexander Bolton: “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized… while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.” The post also reports that “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $445 million in 2016.” (It gets additional funding from individual donors.) The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) got $148 million in 2016; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) requested the same. The NEA has told The Architect’s Newspaper that 84% of its total 2016 budget of $124 million was awarded to individuals and organizations across the country.
Trump is not the first politician to propose closing the NEA and NEH, but with conservative Republicans in control of all parts of government, the endowments—created by Lyndon Johnson as part of his ‘Great society’—could, at last, be eliminated. These cuts will affect architecture and architects in many different areas and it’s hard to calculate until it actually happens. However, nearly every architecture and design exhibition in major U.S. cultural institutions is partially funded by the NEA, as are art projects in small and large cities all across the country.