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Statement from STEAM Caucus Co-Chairs Defending National Endowment for the Arts, Important Cultural Agencies

March 17, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC [03/17/17] – Today the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus, Congresswomen Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), released the following statement after President Trump proposed the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts in his budget blueprint:

“President Trump’s budget proposal would eliminate many important and critical programs for our communities, including the National Endowment for the Arts. Eliminating all federal funding for the NEA is short-sighted and counterproductive. The relatively small investment from the federal government in cultural agencies results in a large economic and cultural return for local communities across the country. For every dollar spent on NEA grants, $9 is matched by non-federal or private entities. The arts strengthen our communities and help drive local economies.

“As co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus, we know the power of integrating arts across disciplines. Activating both sides of the brain prepares people to be innovative and creative, both critical to growing our 21st Century economies and creating good jobs. The arts also help us to be empathetic, which makes our communities better places to live. Our nation can’t afford to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the vital programing it supports. We will be working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to preserve the NEA’s important investments in our communities.”

The bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus advocates for the integration of the arts, broadly defined, with traditional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math curriculum and activities. STEAM education helps to develop the creativity and critical thinking skills needed to drive our innovation economy forward. The group hosts briefings and advocates for policy changes that will encourage educators to adopt STEAM.