With Trump threatening to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, arts organizations around the country are on tenterhooks, mounting counter attacks, and strategizing for a future without federal support of the arts. In Atlanta, the High Museum of Art, in collaboration with WonderRoot and the Spelman Museum of Fine Art, has spearheaded a postcard-writing initiative called #GAArtsFuture BURNAWAY has joined over a dozen others nonprofits to inundate state senators and representatives with individual expressions of support for the NEA, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Systems, which are also threatened with elimination.
Participating nonprofits have set up stations where the public can fill out postcards — writing notes or drawing — and leave them to be mailed. So far, those organizations include the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Woodruff Arts Center, WonderRoot, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, ArtsATL, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Contemporary, The Breman Museum, BURNAWAY, Center for Puppetry Arts, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) and Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA).
Other organizations in Georgia are encouraged to join the effort, as well as those in other states. The High is providing a digital toolkit with printable postcards, signage and additional materials to help organizations implement the campaign. The toolkit can be accessed here: www.high.org/gaartsfuture.
in start contrast to Trump’s proposal, the bipartisan U.S. Subcommittee on the Interior has proposed a $5 million reduction from the current funding level, to $145 million, with the full House and Senate still to weigh in. A number of Republicans have expressed their support of the federal agencies.
According to Americans for the Arts, grassroots art advocacy is at an all-time high with over 170,000 messages sent to Congress this year. With so much hanging in the balance, Congress needs to hear from the public now more than ever.