It has been rumored for weeks but Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget issued today eliminates entirely the National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities. The New York Times reports that the president is also hoping to “scrap the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as well as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.”
While there are also devastating cuts proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency, Social Security, and The United Nations that effect all Americans, the NEA and NEH cuts will directly affect architects both in practice and academia. It is hard to imagine architecture exhibitions in museums, cultural institutors building new facilities, and non-profit organizations that encourage and support architecture remaining solvent and vibrant with these cuts. The NEA Chairman Jane Chu has just issued a statement on her organization’s proposed elimination:
In fiscal year 2015, NEA grants reached every county in the country, many through partnerships. State and local arts organizations partially depend on federal funding to sustain accessible arts programs throughout the country―not just in major metropolitan areas. The NEA targets roughly half of its grants to programs that will reach underserved communities through arts and literacy education, local theater and performance, and radio and TV broadcasts of arts programming.
Here at The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) we are hoping to begin a debate on the value of these federal agencies and how they aid our profession. We are asking for architects, planners, and urbanists in academia and the profession to respond to this news with stories of how they have helped you professionally in your careers. Please comment below or send your comment to info[at]archpaper.com (if the latter, we will post at the bottom of this article).
AN will stay engaged in the debate and help halt the drive to end these valuable agencies.