President George W. Bush sent his FY09 budget request to Congress last week. He has proposed a $16.3 million cut for the National Endowment for the Arts - from $144.7 million this year to $128.4 million for next year. He has also, for the eighth straight year, eliminated funding for the Department of Education's Arts in Education programs.
The President's budget is the first step in the federal appropriations process. While it serves as an important framework, Congress has the power to set its own priorities and change these funding levels. Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania is asking that you visit the Americans for the Arts Arts Action Center to customize a letter to send to your Members of Congress urging them to support the arts in the funding process.