“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves, and to others, the inner vision which guides us as a Nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”

– President Lyndon B. Johnson

Upon signing the Arts and Humanities Bill into law, creating the NEA

Friends of Art Omi, 

With the release of his proposed budget, President Trump has announced plans to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts. Eliminating the NEA would be a devastating blow to the arts in America. Funding the NEA at current levels costs the average American taxpayer only 46 cents a year. 

According to the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, “For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. Territories. . . .  The NEA is also an economic powerhouse, generating more than $600 million annually in additional matching funds and helping to shape a $730 billion arts and culture industry that represents 4.2% of the nation’s GDP and supports 4.8 million jobs.”

Art Omi is one of thousands of organizations funded in part by the NEA. In the past 25 years, Art Omi has brought more than 2,000 artists, architects, musicians, dancers, writers and translators from more than 250 countries and 6 continents to collaborate and create through our international residency programs. World-class public exhibitions bring the work and perspectives of artists from around the globe to our small hamlet in Upstate New York. Last year, nearly 30,000 people visited Omi to. experience art events and explore The Fields – completely free of charge.

This work matters. The freedom to create matters. The very act of creation matters.

The arts tell our stories. They capture the exquisite diversity of personal and cultural experience. They bridge those differences to express what is essential and universal in our shared human experience. The arts have the capacity to challenge, teach, connect, engage, awe and inspire – the capacity to foster understanding, raise awareness and ignite change.

The arts are the inner vision that guides us as a nation. The arts matter. 

But we know we don’t need to convince you of that. 

We know the arts matter to you.

So, we’re asking you to join us in advocating for the value of arts with your elected representatives, and to call for continued funding of the NEA.

Here are five actions you can take right now to #SAVEtheNEA:

Send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose any attempt to eliminate or cut funding to the NEA.

Find more ways to take action from the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, the performing arts alliance, and Stand for the Arts.    

Take time to learn more about the NEA. Read this. Read more.

 Post on Facebook and Twitter to help rally national support to save the NEA.

Never stop engaging with the arts. Bring a friend. Bring a congressperson. We’ll keep bringing the art. See you soon!

Thank you,  

From all of us at Art Omi




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