AEA, Broadway League, Met Opera, SAG-AFTRA & More Sign Letter Urging Fiscal Support for NEA
A diverse group of employers-ranging from the Motion Picture Association of America to the Tulsa Ballet-united with unions representing professionals from across the arts and entertainment industry to support continued full funding of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Fiscal Year 2018.
The unions, affiliates of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), represent actors, musicians, dancers, stagehands, and many other entertainment professionals.
In a letter sent to Congress today, the union-employer coalition urged members to maintain current funding levels for the NEA, NEH, and the CPB in next year's budget. The group emphasized the good jobs supported by the three institutions in every state. The letter also cautioned Congress that private funding alone would not fill the void created by the loss of NEA, NEH, and CPB funding.
"Today's joint letter should send a clear message to Congress," said DPE President Paul E. Almeida. "Employers and professionals in the arts and entertainment industry back full funding of the NEA, NEH, and CPB due to the important role these agencies play in supporting jobs and ensuring cultural access in every state, particularly places far removed from cultural centers."
The organizations that have signed-on to today's letter include:
· Actors' Equity Association
· American Federation of Musicians
· American Guild of Musical Artists
· American Guild of Variety Artists
· Atlanta Ballet
· Ballet West
· Broadway League
· Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
· Directors Guild of America
· Guild of Italian American Artists
· Houston Ballet
· International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts
· International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
· League of Resident Theatres
· Metropolitan Opera
· Motion Picture Association of America
· New York City Ballet
· New York City Opera
· Off-Broadway League
· Office and Professional Employees International Union
· Recording Industry Association of America
· San Francisco Opera
· Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
· Tulsa Ballet
· Writers Guild of America, East
Today's letter follows up on a letter sent in early April from the 12 DPE-affiliated entertainment unions to Congress in response to President Trump's "skinny" budget, which proposed eliminating the NEA and NEH, as well as cutting federal funding for the CPB. During the first week of May, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted to fund the three institutions through the end of the 2017 fiscal year. The funding levels for the 2018 fiscal year are still unknown.
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition of 23 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.