I was dismayed to see last week that, despite the bipartisan outpouring of support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the president has proceeded to propose the elimination of these agencies in the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget.
This is an extremely short-sighted view of the value and role of arts and culture in our communities, one that I believe will have direct, negative effects for Columbus, our state and our nation.
Communities across America have a stake in the arts. According to Americans for the Arts, 4.8 million Americans work in creative industries. And while the NEA costs each taxpayer only 45 cents each year, the arts generate $22.3 billion in federal, state and local government revenue. The Ohio Arts Council receives nearly $1 million annually from the NEA, and numerous organizations across Ohio receive direct grants from both agencies. Funds from the NEA support arts-education programs, helping students learn better across all subjects.
And a small investment in the NEA not only provides our residents with access to national and international touring acts, but spurs tourism and business development, all of which helps make Columbus a place where people want to live, work and play.
Now is the time to let Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and one's congressional representative hear about the importance of these agencies to our lives and our community.
President, chief executive officer
Greater Columbus Arts Council