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Election 2012: Where Do the Candidates Stand on the Arts?

With the 2012 presidential election just weeks away, it seems like the perfect time to see how each candidate stacks up in their policies regarding the arts.

Governor Mitt Romney's website states that he would seek to "Reduce Subsidies For The National Endowments For The Arts And Humanities and The Corporation For Public Broadcasting," and he stated at the first presidential debate that his plan will "stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird, but I'm not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it." He has indicated that the proposed cuts would reach the NEA as well. 

President Barack Obama seeks to raise the funds granted to the National Endowment for the Arts as well as to the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013 (in 2012, the NEA was appropriated approximately $146 million, down slightly from $155 million when the President took office in 2009); he has suggested that he would not propose any change in spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which created PBS and NPR. 

Election Day is November 6, 2012.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

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