In President Trump’s first federal budget plan, submitted this morning, one item has stood out to proponents of the arts: Trump’s call to cut all funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The response has been swift, as over 200,000 Americans have joined PEN America, the Daily Kos, and a variety of other groups in a petition for Congress to reject that proposal. Among their number are comic artist Art Spiegelman, novelists including Neil Gaiman and Salman Rushdie, actor John Lithgow and singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash.
“Funding for the NEA and NEH each constitute only .003% of federal spending, an investment that supports some of the world’s greatest literature, art, and cultural institutions,” the petition reads. “Eliminating these vital agencies would lessen America’s stature as a haven for free thinkers and a global leader in humanity’s shared quest for knowledge.”