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Amidst Bipartisan Support, Administration Seeks to Defund NEA

Stage Directions • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • February 10, 2020

President’s 2021 Budget Proposes Eliminating Cultural Agencies

On Monday afternoon, February 10th, the White House released its fiscal year 2021 budget proposal. For the fourth year in a row, the administration has proposed eliminating numerous cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).In December, due to strong bipartisan support, the House and Senate increased the budgets of both the NEA and the NEH by $7 million, appropriating $162 million to each agency for fiscal year 2020. The administration’s budget proposal often serves as a blueprint for the president’s priorities, without actually impacting the congressional appropriations process.

OPERA America continues to advocate on behalf of the opera field on policies that support opera and the performing arts. As a National Partner for Arts Advocacy Day on March 31, OPERA America is joining advocates from across the country in asking Congress to fund the NEA and NEH at $170 million for fiscal year 2021.

Please join OPERA America in reaching out to members of Congress and urging them to continue to support robust funding for the NEA.

FY2021 Budget Proposal

  • NEA: The budget requests $30 million to close out the agency.
  • NEH: The budget requests $33.4 million to close out the agency.
  • IMLS: The budget requests $23 million to close out the agency.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting: The budget requests $58 million over two years to close out the agency.
  • State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: The budget requests $310 million, a reduction of $421 million from the current fiscal year.
  • The Assistance for Arts Education program at the U.S. Department of Education, currently funded at $30 million, would be defunded and consolidated into the Elementary and Secondary Education for the Disadvantaged Block Grant.


Thank you to all for your ongoing advocacy on behalf of opera and the performing arts.

The nation’s nonprofit advocate for the entire opera field, OPERA America relies on its widespread membership community to represent the industry and support the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera for all.

Further information from OPERA America:



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