It’s not just Big Bird who may be out of a job soon.
Donald Trump announced plans to eliminate government funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts in his proposed 2018 budget plan, all while increasing military spending by $54 billion.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives roughly $445 million on government appropriations, provides funding to NPR and PBS, as well as smaller individual stations around the country. Public broadcasting advocates say it these smaller stations and channels that will feel these cuts the most.
The proposed budget cuts also would eliminate all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. While the NEA and NEH have endured their share attacks over the years, including the Jesse Helms-led outcry over the funding of controversial works by Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe, Trump’s plan represents the greatest threat the organizations have ever faced.
NEA chairman Jane Chu said in a statement released Wednesday: “We understand that the President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process; as part of that process we are working with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare information they have requested. At this time, the NEA continues to operate as usual and will do so until a new budget is enacted by Congress.”
But a small sampling of the vital cultural institutions funded by the NEA: The New York City Ballet, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Film institutions include: The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Austin Film Society, Anthology Film Archives, Film Forum, and the Sundance Institute.