Why protect the National Endowment of the Arts

How would the defunding of the National Endowment of the Arts affect society? According to Raymond Tymas-Jones, dean of the College of Fine Arts, the elimination of the NEA would be incredibly negative for the United States for several reasons. 1. The NEA creates an egalitarian approach to supporting artistic and cultural endeavors by granting funding regardless of geography and regardless of the density of the population. This means that rural arts establishments and organizations would be less able to serve their communities than those in urban environments where alternative resources are more available. 2. It would impact the variety and diversity of voices which represent the American population. Good and important art is a reflection of the great diversity of humanity. If only some groups can afford to create art, the worldview narrows significantly, eliminating a vehicle through which Americans broaden and deepen their understanding and concept of society. 3. The kind of thinkers we create in the arts fuel the innovation of all disciplines. The NEA supports more just arts and culture – it supports creativity and creativity is what fuels innovation. The elimination of the NEA would stand to slow our nation’s innovation.

r.tymasjones@finearts.utah.edu | 801-581-3887