Score one for arts activists everywhere. In a striking reversal of the momentum that lead to the exclusion of arts funding from the stimulous package, the aid has been suddenly reinstated. Americans for the Arts reported last night that:
"Just moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives approved their final version of the Economic Recovery bill. We can now confirm that the package DOES include $50 million in direct support for arts jobs through National Endowment for the Arts grants. We are also happy to report that the exclusionary Coburn Amendment language banning certain arts groups from receiving any other economic recovery funds has also been successfully removed."
Wow! The announcement goes on to state that:
"This is an important victory for all of you as arts advocates. More than 85,000 letters were sent to Congress, thousands of calls were made, and hundreds of op-eds, letters to the editor, news stories, and blog entries were generated in print and online media about the role of the arts in the economy. Artists, business leaders, mayors, governors, and a full range of national, state, and local arts groups all united together on this advocacy issue. This outcome marks a stunning turnaround of events and exemplifies the power of grassroots arts advocacy."
To everyone who participated, petitioned, called, and otherwise made noise-thank you.