amerincan for de arts action fund

Big Wins for the Arts Included in Final FY 2020 Appropriations

This afternoon, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to pass all 12 fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills to fund the federal government. Significantly, the bills contained all of the funding priorities Americans for the Arts has been working on this year—more arts-specific items than ever before. This includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and federal cultural agenciesjuvenile justicearts education, and ground-breaking support for creative arts therapies in funding through the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs Department.

Specifically, the five pro-arts appropriations items include:

  • National Endowment for the Arts—FY 2020 funding was increased by $7.25 million, the largest amount in a decade, to $162.25 million. We also applaud the increases for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  • Veteran Affairs Department—The VA received a ground-breaking $5 million direct appropriation for creative arts therapies through its Whole Health initiative.
  • Department of Defense—Similar to the VA, the DoD received committee report instructions to increase support for creative arts therapies in treating servicemembers with TBI and psychological health conditions.
  • Department of Justice—The DoJ was provided additional funding and committee report instructions by both the Senate and House to include arts-based juvenile justice programs among the strategies pursued by its Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.
  • Education Department—The Assistance for Arts Education grant program, administered by ED, received $30 million, an amount matching its FY 2019 level.

These advocacy wins are a result of a year of grassroots outreach through a comprehensive network of state and local arts advocacy leaders and key communications efforts. It was also the result of working with dozens of advocacy partners. Carnegie Hall led the effort on expanding the arts and juvenile justice, and Americans for the Arts was joined by the American Art Therapy Association and the other arts and health organizations in pursuing increased attention to creative arts therapies.

Americans for the Arts stands ready to fight for the arts on a bipartisan basis with the 95,000 nonprofit arts organizations across the United States, the nation’s mayors, the business community, and the hundreds of thousands of arts advocates across the country. The arts are important to America, to its economy, and to the betterment of communities. Americans for the Arts applauds the U.S. Congress for expanding our country’s investment in the arts.