NEA Successfully Avoids 49% Budget Cut; Returns to Pre-sequestration Funding Level

capitol building

Last week, both the U.S. House and Senate passed a $1.1 billion FY2014 omnibus spending bill which will fund the federal government through the end of September 2014.

In a significant victory for federal funding of arts and culture, the wide-ranging spending bill now headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature includes funding for the National Endowments for the Arts at $146.02 million, representing a $7.6 million increase over 2013’s sequestration level of $138.4 million.

NEA budget chart

The omnibus spending bill passed this week spared the NEA from a 49% (or $71 million) cut passed in July by the U.S. Interior Appropriations Sub-committee – the body responsible for setting spending levels for the NEA and other cultural agencies. The 49% cut to the NEA included in the 2014 Interior Appropriations bill would have placed federal spending on the NEA at its lowest level since 1970, when adjusted for inflation.

In other good news, the 2014 omnibus spending bill includes $25 million for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts-in-Education Program, which supports national level high-quality arts education projects and programs for children and youth, with special emphasis on serving students from low-income families and students with disabilities. The Arts-in-Education program has survived efforts to both eliminate and consolidate the program into a larger pool of education funding opportunities.

For questions or further information, please contact Brian Inman, Arts Alliance Illinois’ Policy Research Director, at 312.855.3105x 12 or via email at