This is worth discussing, even if it was published some time ago. Words from our current NEA Chairman.
Also, the 2005 Budget for Defense is 401 Billion Dollars. The National Endowment for the Arts is 130 million dollars. The entire budget for most publically run corporations exceeds the entire federal funding for the arts in the United States. The population of the United States is nearly 300 million people. We don't even provide a single dollar for each person in the United States, federally, for the arts.
The Actor's Theatre of Louisville had in 2001 an annual budget of around 8 million dollars. They survive on about 40% ticket sales. The Federal Government in 2005 gave them 50 thousand dollars. Here is a link to the 2005 Theatre Grants. As you can see, they barely make a dent in most of these theatre's modest budgets. It amounts to "good faith funding." This can barely provide full funding for a single show in a season at one of our countries top regional theatres. To put it in clear perspective, many of the people who live and work in Manhattan have an annual, non-bonus salary that competes with or exceeds the projected federal funding that The Actor's Theatre of Louisville received in Grants from our government this year.
Here is, also, the website that highlights the Appropriations History for the NEA. Arts funding in this country has never hit 200 million dollars. Huge cuts hit during the Contract With America period, with slight, token funding increases since then.
Just a few thoughts to get me started.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.