Local Arts Institutions Among Recent NEA Grant Recipients

The National Endowment for the Arts Announces More Than $80 Million in Arts Funding

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced more than $80 Million in arts funding awarded across the United States. This is the second round of NEA grant announcements for this year.

The DMV is well-represented in those organizations receiving NEA funding. DC performing arts organizations such as Dance Place, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Mosaic Theatre, The Theatre Lab, and Young Playwrights received grants. Adventure Theatre MTC, Dance Exchange, Everyman Theatre in Maryland, and Virginia’s Wolf Trap are also grant recipients. A searchable database of the Spring 2019 awardees can be found on the NEA’s website.

A first round of NEA grants was announced on February 13, 2019. At that time, the Arts Endowment made 1,145 grants totaling $27 million. Local performing arts organizations were well-represented in the first round of NEA grants as well. A searchable database of those grants can also be found online.

The NEA also released information indicating an “increase to the US economy from the Arts and Cultural Sector. The most recent data indicated that the arts sector contributed $804.2 Billion or 4.3 percent of the Nation’s GDP in 2016.”

The national report has a myriad of data for those interested in details. As an example, the report contains information about personal consumption spending on performing arts events in 2016 (page 9). Over $32.5 billion was spent in 2016. There is also a dashboard providing state-level information.

The Trump Administration has repeatedly called for the elimination of funding to the National Endowment of the Arts. In its 2020 budget proposal, the proposed elimination of the NEA can be found on page 98 with this narrative justification:

“The Budget proposes to begin shutting down the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2020. Activities funded by NEA are not considered core Federal responsibilities, and make up only a small fraction of the billions spent each year by arts nonprofit organizations.”