The National Endowment for the Arts came out with an interesting statement that makes the case for using money from the economic stimulus package (still being debated) to fund programs and projects in the arts. Specifically, for the Endowment to distribute the funds through its established grant program, thereby boosting the arts division of the economy and creating jobs in creative industries.
Quoting from the statement: "...NEA Chairman Dana Gioia noted, "Arts organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession. They've seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs, and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will support this important investment."
Hopeful: the Endowment preceedes to make its case for more funding through the stimulus bill, but with current opposition to the massive amounts of spending proposed strong in the legislature, it's unclear if /when the package will pass, or if the Endowment will get anything at all.
BUT! If the National Endowment does get a piece of the stimulus pie it will be looking for well-developed project proposals and initiatives that can best put that money to use immediately. Meaning- now is the time! Jersey City arts organizations, pull back out your pipe dreams and start developing ideas for how to make this glimmer of national funding work for you. Plus, the case the Endowment makes for the arts as just another sector of the economy that would benefit from an infusion of funds is an excellent one that can be used as an argument for aditional municipal arts funding. Make use of it.
Read the full press-release here