Arts organizations around the country can breathe a sigh of relief.
Once again, Congress has rebuffed President Trump’s call to gut the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the new $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on Friday, both endowments actually saw a slight increase of about $3 million in their funding levels, to about $153 million each.
In Mr. Trump’s first federal budget last year, he caused alarm after he became the first president to call for ending the endowments since they were created in 1965 — even though the combined budgets of both make up a mere fraction of the federal budget. Arts groups around the country mobilized immediately to save the federal funding.
It turned out that the N.E.A. and N.E.H. also had support from key Republicans, including Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who is the chairwoman of a crucial Senate appropriations subcommittee. (Congress writes the federal budget.) Mr. Trump called for slashing the endowments again in his second budget — and the reaction was muted from arts groups after last year’s threat didn’t come to pass.
“With this funding, N.E.H. will be able to aggressively support essential cultural infrastructure projects across the country,” Jon Parrish Peede, the senior deputy chairman of the N.E.H., said in a statement. Mr. Peede was nominated by Mr. Trump to be the endowment’s chairman.
A spokeswoman for the N.E.A. said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is deeply appreciative of the support of members of Congress for the agency’s mission of providing all Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.”