Cuts to the NEA and to the National Endowment for the Humanities….

Executive Director’s Letter
March 5, 2013

With all the talk about Sequestration, you would think the world would have ended by now.  Unfortunately and with all due respect to T.S. Elliott, the impact appears to be approaching with a whimper, not a bang. Although some critics are comparing President Barrack Obama to the kid who cried wolf, it is expected that the impact of the cuts are yet to roll into place.  In real terms for the cultural community, the National Endowment for the Arts is looking at an 8.2% cut and the National Endowment for the Humanities a 5% reduction in its budget—not to mention IMLS and The National Science Foundation.

What seems to be missing is a discussion about how these cuts will impact not just programs, but jobs.  When you start furloughing and laying-off staff, you are talking about real people—artists, administrators, educators, researchers, and others—who will be losing buying power (maybe even eating power).  Just when you start thinking that arts and culture are a luxury, it’s a good idea to remember the sector’s many tangible benefits—$388.2 million in economic impact for Baltimore City alone.  And because the impact of the recession is still being felt, these cuts come at a particularly difficult time.

On a happier note, the Baltimore region is an area where artists and cultural workers are choosing to live.  Their presence enriches, enlivens, and improves communities throughout the region.  GBCA is working to support this community and to help promote their many contributions.

All the best to you,
Jeannie

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