As it did last year, Congress has voted to continue to fund the National Endowments of the Arts (NEA) and Humanities (NEH), along with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), despite calls from President Donald Trump to gut the budgets of all three institutions. Trump signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday which included a roughly $3 million increase in the budgets pf both the NEA and NEH while the IMLS saw a $9 million increase.
Noting that the fiscal 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $152.8 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA said in a statement. "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."
NEH senior deputy chairman Jon Parrish Peede added: "With this funding, NEH will be able to aggressively support essential cultural infrastructure projects across the country. Our federal dollars play a catalytic role in generating local investment and sustainable economic development."
The IMLS's $9 million increase will be distributed, the institute said, in the following manner:
- Grants to States (+$4,700,000)
- Native American Library Services and Native Hawaiian Library Services (+$1,000,000)
- Museums for America (+$1,750,000)
- Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (+$500,000)
- Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (+$750,000)
- Research, Evaluation, Data Collection (+$300,000)
Funding levels for IMLS administration and other programs remain at their current enacted levels.
"The increases in IMLS's Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations are an acknowledgement of the enduring value of our nation's museums and libraries," IMLS director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said in a statement. "We are honored to be able to carry out our strategic role in support of America’s museums and libraries and their transformative work for communities."