Saturday, February 14, 2009

The economic stimulus bill and the arts

The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - also known as the economic stimulus bill - was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on February 13. It is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Included in the funding are $50 million to be distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts to arts organizations throughout the 50 states.

A February 13 press release from the nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts included the following information from President and CEO Robert L. Lynch.

"The nation's 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences generate $166.2 billion annually in U.S. economic activity. They support 5.7 million jobs and provide nearly $30 billion in government revenue. This economic stimulus will minimize the concern that ten percent of arts groups could close this year and helps save thousands of arts workers from losing their jobs."

To read the entire press release, please click here.

1 comment:

Steven Koehler said...

This was a huge victory for the arts, and a testament to the importance of the arts to our country and our economy. I would like thank everyone who wrote to or called their elected officials.

The next hurdle is the Indiana State budget. Like many states Indiana has to make some pretty deep cuts this year. In Governor Daniels proposed budget most state agencies take cuts of 6% - 8%, but the Indiana Commission for the Arts has a 50% cut. Although the $2 million that the state would save would do very little to solve the large gap, it could be devastating for many local arts agencies. Again, please contact your state elected officials and plead for the IAC budget to be restored to match the cuts other agencies are taking.