By Matthew Strauss.
David Byrne has spoken out against Donald Trump’s recent proposal to eliminate the National Endowments for the Artsand Humanities, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He attended a rally at New York’s City Hall yesterday, along with politicians and other musicians, to protest the elimination. He said at the rally, “You may hate the arts. You may hate the stuff that people paint and the theater that they do, but do you want to lose all those jobs? Do we want to kill this part of the economy?,” according to the New York Daily News. “That’s just completely stupid,” he added.
In a subsequent essay on his site called “What Good Are the Arts?,” Byrne wrote:
The Trump administration and their Republican allies hope to eliminate funding for a number of federal arts organizations. This is a political move—it really doesn’t amount to much money—it’s a tiny part of the federal budget. The amount of federal funding is $741 million, which sounds like a lot, but is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the United States’ annual federal spending, an amount supporters say is too small to make a difference in the budget if it was cut. On a budget pie chart it doesn’t even show up, it’s too small.
Byrne also cited a study that found that “non-profit arts,” which he describes as things other than “Broadway shows, pop concerts, video games, movies or the art world,” generate $135.2 billion in economic activity in the United States. Read his full essay here.
Read “What’s at Stake if Trump Ends the National Endowment for the Arts” on the Pitch.
This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.
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