Keywords: Advocacy; Federal Agency; Innovation; Artistic Creativity; Access; Matching Grants; Information; Cultural Organizations.
This article is in support of the appeal for advocacy launched by Jane Chu, president of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), scheduled for cancellation from the fiscal year 2018 federal budget forwarded for approval by the President to a Congress dominated by a republican majority historically hostile to the agency. It emphasizes the vital role as a catalyst played by the NEA in its 51 years of existence in support of excellency and innovation in artistic creativity, and in broadening access to the arts throughout the whole country, notwithstanding its, by European standards, relatively small budget (148 million dollars in 2016). Its historical success has been reached through: a) a constant stimulus role; b) financial support of cultural organizations through a federal matching grants system effectively engendering state, local and private support; c) the establishment of an exhaustive information and evaluation system. the small savings for the federal budget brought about by the nea's elimination would thus represent a threat to the sustainability of a wide range of cultural organizations.