Federal Budget And Arts Funding

Last Wednesday, North Dakota artists and arts professionals gathered in Bismarck for the Statewide Arts Conference & Governor’s Awards for the Arts. Jamie Hand, Design Specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts was the keynote speaker and panelist for a day that focused largely on grant opportunities.

Jamie Hand, design specialist for National Endowment for the Arts, photo courtesy of Kris Kerzman of http://theartspartnership.net

Foremost on people’s minds was the status of the NEA in terms of the Federal budget and sequester. Ms. Hand had more encouraging news than expected. However, this doesn’t mean we can be complacent. Good fiscal management within the National Endowment for the Arts can only go so far and there are folks who believe arts funding is non essential. As artists, arts supporters, and arts organizations we need to make sure our state and federal legislators know how we feel about the arts and how important they are to the vitality of our people and nation. If you want to write a letter or email your legislators can be reached at these addresses.

The Good and Bad news for North Dakota

Good News for current grant recipients: The NEA does not plan to decrease the award amounts for direct grants that have already been awarded to individual organizations. Instead, the reduction in funds will be absorbed through a reduction in funds available for future applications. The NEA will accept new applications for direct grant funding for all scheduled application deadlines in calendar year 2013. By applying funds available through the de-obligation of prior year awards, the NEA is forecasting an effective decrease of 3.2% against the funds provided under the continuing resolution. 

North Dakota will see a small funding decrease: As with direct grants, the NEA must also reduce the total grant funding available for state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. By applying funds available through the de-obligation of prior year awards, state arts agencies and regional arts organizations are currently forecast to absorb an effective decrease of 2.7% against the funds provided under the current continuing resolution.

NEA Staff: Regarding the sequester, Ms. Hand said the NEA staff does not expect to experience job layoffs due to the cost saving efforts of their savvy finance officer.

For additional or updated information, please contact the NEA at arts.gov

If you would like to attend future conferences and learn about the state of the arts in North Dakota please visit Arts North Dakota (http://artsnd.org) and the North Dakota Council on the Arts (http://www.nd.gov/arts/) who organized the 2013 Statewide Arts Conference.