A single pack of gum

02.09.11 | 2 Comments

CATEGORIES advocacy, arts service organizations, conversation starter, facts + figures, funding and support, rabble rousing, theatrical ecosystem

Talk all you want about supply and demand, at least we have a National Endowment for the Arts. For now.

If you haven’t read this post by Frank Rizzo at the Hartford Courant about tomorrow’s proposal for cutting the NEA budget, go check it out. I suppose the good news is, there’d still be an NEA budget to cut from.


We have Brian Seitel to thank for this easy-to-grasp breakdown of how the NEA’s current budget compares to our own real life budgets. Not only that, he’s also compared the average return on investment (ROI) on money spent on the arts compared to money spent in the stock market. It’s so simple, a child could understand this. (I know, I tested it on my own kids.)

Share this post with your Senators and Representatives at every level.

And if you do, ask them if they’d be happy with a single pack of gum each year.

Click to embiggen.

UPDATE: Of course, it’s not just the federal government. Check out this post by Tom Jacobs about the perilous state of state arts agencies.

Are you curious about what percentage of your own state’s budget goes to the arts? Use this handy state budget calculator to find out.

Can we really afford to cut funding for the arts?


Tip of the hat to Brian for finding the calculator, too. We also have Brian to thank for Talkbackr and OffBook Market.

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David J. Loehr

David J. Loehr

Writer / Producer, The Incomparable Radio Theater :: Artist-in-Residence / Producer, Riverrun Theatre Company, Madison, Indiana :: Artistic Director / Editor, 2amt :: Panelist, The Incomparable podcast :: Husband, father, cat owner, cat bed.
David J. Loehr

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  • Years ago, I heard a piece on NPR’s All Things Considered in which they played samples of appropriate music for different categories of the federal budget at proportional lengths. They started with 15 seconds of a military march for defense. I can’t remember all the other music selections, something pastoral for agriculture I think, but you get they idea. They got to the end and said they would have liked to play something to represent all federal funding for arts and humanities, but that when they did the math, it would have been a beep at too high a frequency to be broadcast in an FM audio channel.

  • Just want to drop a link to Ian David Moss’ nice write up here: http://bit.ly/e6bww6