ABOVE PHOTO: Congressman Bob Brady (AP photo)
Congressman Bob Brady (D – PA) in a strongly worded letter, urged President Trump to support full funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “Defunding the NEA and the NEH would adversely affect communities in which the arts and humanities are not easily accessible and deprive our nation’s youth of the opportunity to learn about our artistic and cultural history,” the letter stated.
Services that would be affected by the defunding of these organizations/agencies include:
• The NEA’s Military Healing Arts Partnership that funds centers across the country that utilize creative arts therapy, such as music therapy and therapeutic writing as a means of treating brain injuries and the psychological health issues for service members.
• NEH’s Prime Time Family Reading Time program that provides nearly 60,000 underserved children and their families in 42 states with the opportunity to engage with literature on a weekly basis, in an attempt to combat intergenerational illiteracy in over 1,000 communities across the country.
In addition, the Brady letter outlines that the defunding of these arts and cultural initiatives would drastically affect our economy. “The arts and cultural sector generated $704.2 billion, 4.23% of our nation’s GDP, and employed 4.7 million Americans who collectively made over $330 billion in 2013.”
In closing, the letter signed by 30 Representatives stresses, “Eliminating these programs would be detrimental to our military, our students and our economy. We strongly urge you to support full and robust funding for the NEA and NEH in the FY2018 budget, as exposure to the arts and humanities benefits all Americans.”