Proposed cuts in federal funding for arts programs would deal a painful blow to major New York employers, City Comptroller Scott Stringer said Thursday.
The National Endowment for the Arts, which President Donald Trump wants to defund, gave city art groups $14.5 million last year, according to the report from Stringer. Although the NEA money is a drop in the bucket for the budgets of the hundreds of nonprofits, schools and other cultural institutions that receive the funds, the comptroller said the cuts would have ripple effects.
“Earning a national grant is a seal of approval that attracts other donors,” he said.
Stringer’s report found that between 2000 and 2016, New York received $233 million in NEA grants, including $42.5 million that went toward media arts and $32.4 million for theater groups. The 419 NEA grantees are among the largest employers in the city and paid $434.4 million in wages last year, the report said.
Lisa Robb, the executive director of the Center for Arts Education, said their $10,000 NEA grant goes a long way for the nonprofit, which provides art education programs to school students.
“Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers benefit from this grant,” she said.
Stringer urged the White House and Congress to rethink the proposal.
“This is another example of this president building walls instead of bridges,” he said.