On Thursday, President Trump’s administration revealed its proposed budget for 2018, and one thing became clear: In order to pay for increases in defense and military spending, the government would have to strip many other agencies of all of their federal funding — the National Endowment for the Arts included.
It is not a surprise that lots of actors, artists, and singers weren’t too happy with this. Much less actor Robert Redford. The actor defended the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in an open letter this week, amid President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calling for funding cuts to the federal agency.
“The proposed defunding of the NEA’s budget would gut our nation’s long history of support for artists and arts programs and it would deprive all our citizens of the culture and diversity the humanities brings to our country,” Redford wrote in an open letter on the Sundance Institute’s website.
“This is entirely the wrong approach at entirely the wrong time. We need to invite new voices to the table, we need to offer future generations a chance to create, and we need to celebrate our cultural heritage.”
Last year, Redford was awarded the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidental Medal of Freedom by President Obama. The director and actor have been consistently praised for launching the Sundance Institute, an organization that has helped support many emerging artists during their early careers — and which, according to Redford, would not exist without NEA’s early support.
Redford wrote- “Today the [Sundance] Festival brings millions of dollars of revenue to Utah over a 10-day period – proving that art can be an economic force. The dividends of [the NEA’s] investment in our culture are unquantifiable. More than dollars, the NEA represents a civilization that values critical and creative thought.”
He also included a call to action in his letter to fans, urging them to put pressure on their Congressional representatives to vote against Trump’s arts program-slashing budget.
“I’m asking you to please join me in adding your voice to the chorus of concerned citizens by contacting your congressional representative and voicing your opposition to these cuts and in favor of continued support for the role the arts play in enriching our American story.”
When is enough – enough?? The liberal Hollywood elite need to realize that the world does not revolve around them. The NEA means nothing to the average working man. Trump is doing exactly the right thing cutting its budget. Unfortunately, we have to start cutting programs in order to bring down the debt. Priorities at the top of the list and start cutting from the bottom. It’s either that or get so far out of control with debt that one day it all goes away no matter what.
We don’t need Federal funding to celebrate our culture, or patriotism, or anything else. Least of all “arts”… If you want to contribute to something… then do it… It’s not on the taxpayers. People will continue to pursue their passions without Federal funding!!!