Abolishing the national endowments for the arts and for the humanities on the table

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Opinion: The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency that has promoted and funded the arts since 1965, could soon be abolished. The new administration has announced cutting NEA along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and other socially focused entities to save costs for other spending. (NYT, 2/22)

All too often, art is seen as a “soft” subject, the first thing to be cut, whether by local school boards or the federal government, when money is tight. But looked at purely in dollars, it is a false saving. The N.E.A.’s budget is comparatively minuscule — $148 million last year, or 0.004 percent of annual federal discretionary expenditures — while the arts sector it supports employs millions of Americans and generates billions each year in revenue and tax dollars.

…Arts and cultural programming challenges, provokes and entertains; it enhances our lives. Eliminating the N.E.A. would in essence eliminate investment by the American government in the curiosity and intelligence of its citizens.

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– A local architect proposes turning outdated metro cars destined for scrapping into small homes for the homeless population. (WaPo, 2/22)

– An NBC News investigation found that black students with disabilities are arrested, suspended or expelled more often than other students. They created a tool that allows you to search the stats in your own school district. (NBC4, 2/20)

– Teachers At A D.C. Charter School Want To Try Something New: Unionizing (WAMU, 2/22)

– Virginia is considering three immigration bills, including one forbidding localities from being ‘sanctuary cities.’ The governor is planning to veto them all. (WaPo, 2/22)

– Study: 15 percent of Maryland residents were born outside US (WTOP, 2/22)

PHILANTHROPY | Eric Kessler, founder of Arabella Advisors, advises donors not to fund grantees or run their programs as if the world is the same as it was last year. (Philanthropy New York, 2/21)

Related: Register for WRAG’s Foundations and Advocacy: It’s Time to Get in the Ring, a training with Alliance for Justice that will explore how private and public foundations can support grantees’ advocacy efforts and engage in advocacy themselves. Funders register now!

PUBLIC SAFETYDepartment veteran Peter Newsham to be named new D.C. police chief (WaPo, 2/23)

These cats tell you what they will tolerate in an owner.

– Kendra