Arts Victory in Congress

Congress released the details of its delayed current year FY 2018 Omnibus spending bill. Congress has allocated an increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to $152.849 million each.

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John Machado
#SAVEtheNEA

On February 12th, the administration released its FY 2019 budget request. The request unfortunately repeats many of the same, misguided ideas of the last budget proposal--ideas that were met with a resounding rejection from Congress last year.

The request includes the termination of our nation's cultural grant-making agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The proposed budget ignores the fact that Congress soundly rejected this same attempt last year to terminate the nation's cultural agencies. 

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John Machado
Challenges Ahead: Why What You Do Matters

“I think I need another cup of coffee.” That could only mean one thing: Arts Advocacy Day is near! This year will be the 31st consecutive year of arts advocacy days.

Although years may really just be a number, in its 31 years, Arts Advocacy Day has seen six different U.S. presidents spanning both political parties. It’s witnessed sixteen different congressional sessions and eight different Speakers of the U.S. House. Through it all, every year, attendees hear that “the arts are bipARTtisan.”

Because, no matter who’s in office, arts advocacy matters. Funding decisions are made every year. Who’s deciding this year may not be deciding next year. Who’s to remember what happened before? Who’s to know why it matters? Who’s to learn from each other? The answer is us. All of us. All of us together.

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John Machado
Loss of 220,000 to 264,000 Nonprofit Jobs

From the National Council of Nonprofits:

Under the House and Senate bills, the charitable deduction would be out of reach of more than 90% of taxpayers. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that itemized deductions will drop by $95 billion in 2018. Not all of this would disappear; the change is estimated to shrink giving to the work of charitable nonprofits by $13 billion or more each year. Estimates are that this drop in giving would cost 220,000 to 264,000 nonprofit jobs.

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John Machado
Congress Tax Reform Bill Negatively Impacts Charities

The House Ways and Means Committee pushed through the release of their official tax reform bill H.R. 1 in Congress to overhaul the American federal income tax system. There are strong concerns that it will have negative impact on charitable giving, nonprofit organizations, and professional artists as it proposes to limit the charitable tax deduction to only the highest income taxpayers. The charitable deduction to make contributions a tax-deductible gift must be available to ALL taxpayers giving to their favorite charities, not only the wealthiest.

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Save the NEA

#SAVEtheNEA by joining Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund in sending a unified message to Congress to restore full funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Please watch the video and then take 2 minutes to send your message through the online Action Center.

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John Machado
U.S. Announces Withdraw From UNESCO

The United States will withdraw from UNESCO at the end of next year, the State Department said Thursday, to stop accumulating unpaid dues and make a stand on what it said is anti-Israel bias at the U.N.’s educational, science and cultural organization.

In notifying UNESCO of the decision this morning, the State Department said it would like to remain involved as a nonmember observer state. That will allow the United States to engage in debates and activities, though it will lose its right to vote on issues.

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John Machado