The following message was distributed to the entire MICA community of students, alumni, faculty and staff earlier today, March 17:
The proposed federal budget plan for Fiscal Year 2018 was released yesterday and includes a number of provisions that would negatively impact federal support for higher education and for the arts and humanities. These include, but are not limited to:
- Reductions to student financial aid, including deep cuts to the Federal Work Study Program and the elimination of the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need
- Elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts
- Elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities
- Elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services
- Elimination of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
MICA is committed to the vital role of the arts in society, and to the opportunity and access to higher education for our advancement as individuals, artists, professionals, and citizens. We are writing to express deep concern over these proposals that are contrary to our beliefs. We encourage members of the MICA community to consider carefully the implications of the proposed cuts for the future of the arts, humanities, and higher education in our country.
The proposed fiscal plan is just a starting point for a budget process that will unfold over the next months through this October. Now is the time to learn about the potential impact of these proposals and, if you feel compelled, to advocate with your members of Congress.
- To support student aid, please tweet, follow and share the #SaveStudentAid advocacy campaign. The Student Aid Alliance, which is co-chaired by NAICU, coordinates this activity.
- Americans for the Arts (AFTA) provides tools and resources for advocating for arts funding, including easy ways to contact your members of Congress. Their Arts Mobilization Center can be found here.
- The College Art Association (CAA) has assembled an Arts and Humanities Advocacy Toolkit with information on how to contact your representatives in Congress to voice your support for the NEA and NEH and the many quality programs they fund.
- Just to look up your Congressional leaders, click here: Senators, Representatives
Following are some readings of different perspectives that you may find of interest and that might prompt you to do further research:
- NEA Chairman Jane Chu’s statement on the budget proposal
- Philip Kennicott/Peggy McGlone’s Washington Post essay in defense of the cultural agencies
- George Will’s Washington Post opinion piece in favor of the elimination of the NEA
The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), to which MICA belongs, is working to inform its member schools about the potential impact of these proposals and strategies for advocacy. We will keep the MICA community apprised of the work that AICAD and other higher education and arts organizations are doing with respect to these vital issues that directly impact our ability to carry out our mission.