Arts for LA, an organization advocating increasing support for all art forms and cultural life in Los Angeles, is circulating a petition to encourage members of Congress to support increased funding for the nation's arts programs.
The petition was sent in reaction to President Bush's FY 2008 budget proposal, which asks for a small increase of 3.2 percent for the National Endowment for the Arts. With the increase, the NEA funding would total $128.4 million. In 1992, the NEA received $176 million.
The President also eliminated funding for the Department of Education's Arts in Education programs for the seventh consecutive year. "It's disappointing to see the Administration propose zeroing out funding for the seventh consecutive year to the Department of Education's arts education programs," said Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch. "One of the best ways to nurture creativity, a necessity to prepare for a 21st Century workforce, is to have children learn and actively participate in the arts."
Despite the absence of federal funding, California Gov. Schwarzenegger recently earmarked $109 million for arts in education funding in the state's 2007 budget -- an increase from $105 million in 2006.
The petition notes that Congress has the power to increase funding levels despite the President's proposal. For more information, or to sign the petition, visit http://capwiz.com/artsusa/.