Support for the arts in the House of Representatives increased appreciably during the soon-to-conclude legislative session, according to Americans for the Arts, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, which released its Congressional Arts Report Card Sept. 22.
There were 181 members of Congress receiving a grade of A or higher, up from 179 in the session that concluded in ’06. More significantly, funding for the National Endowment for the Arts was increased by $20 million for the 2008 fiscal year, its largest one-year increase in almost 30 years.
However, according to the organization, the current NEA budget of $144.7 million has half the purchasing power of its previous high: $176 million in 1992. And the size of the Congressional Arts Caucus dropped as well, from 224 in 2006 to 212 in 2008.