Liberal arts programs in the crosshairs in Trump's proposed budget

Dive Brief:

  • For the first time since their creation in 1965, the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities are under real threat of closure under a new federal budget proposal submitted by President Donald Trump to Congress this week.
  • The budget cut funding for the endowments, which have an annual taxpayer burden of $300 million but are just a fraction of the national $1 trillion budget and responsible for many of the nation’s prestigious awards and fellowships in audio and visual, performing, and literary arts.
  • In 2015, the National Endowment of the Humanities funded 115 projects classified as "educational programs" with more than $13 million in federal funding.

Dive Insight:

College-based museums, projects and funds which offer fellowships and archival programs through endowment funding will be in outright jeopardy if this budget passes as proposed, but some observers say that the budget may not be approved with such drastic measures, as has been the case in recent administrations.

Colleges and universities must take the posture being used by national museums and trusts, and to build public support for the arts through media placements and lobbying. However, the best strategy for sustainability is to look outside of the public enterprise to secure private support through foundations and individual philanthropists who are sympathetic to the arts.

Filed Under: Higher Ed
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