Reading through President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2013, with a few exceptions, it looks to be a decent year for government support for the arts:
-The administration plans to achieve $25 million in savings by consolidating the Education Department’s arts education programs under a larger umbrella.
-A slight increase in the funding request for the National Endowment for the Arts. For fiscal year 2012, President Obama had asked for $146 million for the NEA, down from $168 in fiscal 2011. This year, he’s requesting $154 million for fiscal 2013, a small increase.
-A similar increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities, from $146 million in fiscal 2012 to a $154 million request for fiscal 2013.
-A $24 million increase in the funding request for the Smithsonian Institution, from $636 million for fiscal 2012 to $660 million for fiscal 2013.
-Continued funding in the amount of $85 million for the construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of a $186 appropriation for facilities planning, construction, and revitalization of Smithsonian Institution facilities.
-A slight downward tick in funding for the operations of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, from $23,200,000 in fiscal 2012 to $22,379,000 in fiscal 2013.
-A $6 million increase for the National Galleries of Art, from $114 million to $120 million.
Now, just because Obama is asking doesn’t mean he shall receive — that certainly hasn’t been the case in the past. But it’s nice to see the President treat long-term investment in the arts as a worthwhile cause. It’d be a real shame in particular if we lost the chance to get the National Museum of African American History and Culture during the first term of the first African-American president.