Where To Donate To Support The Arts Now That Trump's Budget Proposal Has Been Unveiled
On Thursday, President Trump unveiled his plan for budget cuts in domestic programs, including agencies that fund the arts, humanities, and public media. As in, he proposed to eliminate entirely the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Once you've let that sink in, the next step is figuring out where to donate to support the arts now that their funding is threatened.
Trump's proposed cuts will slash the budgets of dozens of agencies, but he intends to eliminate the NEA, NEH, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). This is a nightmare come true for the art and cultural community, which depends in on federal money in a major way. That being said, as the Washington Post points out, the budgets for the organizations on the chopping block make up just a fraction of the overall federal budget (so, honestly, cutting them probably isn't going to free up as much as the administration thinks it will); perhaps that's why no president has proposed eliminating them before. Or, y'know, other presidents may just have realized that there's value in the arts, and that our culture and society would be much poorer without them.
Because the president doesn't actually write the federal budget — that's up to Congress — museums, community symphonies, and other cultural programs aren't affected immediately. However, if it's any indication of what's to come, the arts and humanities may struggle to find funding under the Trump administration. Here are 13 places to consider donating in support of the arts.
1Public Broadcasting Service
PBS, the public broadcasting channel that describes itself as "America's largest classroom," is likely to be affected by CPB's elimination. In fact, following the budget proposal, its officials responded by reminding everyone how many people use the service. "The cost of public broadcasting is small, only $1.35 per citizen per year, and the benefits are tangible," said PBS president Paula Kerger, according to Deadline. You can check out ways to support the organization here.
2National Public Radio
NPR, the beloved home of radio programs like This American Life, is another organization that will probably be hurt if CPB is cut. In addition to the radio, the nonprofit produces news and cultural programming online. To donate, first find your local station here.
3Independent Television Service
If you've ever watched a documentary on PBS, you can thank the ITVS for helping it get made. The nonprofit service funds and supports independent filmmakers, then distributes their work; in turn, it's funded by the CPB. To support the ITVS, head over here.
4National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
As described on NASAA's website, state arts agencies "increase public access to the arts and work to ensure that every community in America enjoys the cultural, civic, economic and educational benefits of a thriving arts sector." Every state and six U.S. jurisdictions have one; programs include grant funding and art activities for young people. To support NASAA, which is partly funded by the NEA, click your way over here.
Supported by the NEA, Arts Midwest provides literary, visual, and performing arts programs in nine Midwestern states, but two of their programs are actually nationwide: Shakespeare in American Communities and The Big Read. You can check out the nonprofit and donate on its webpage.
6Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts researchers and advocates for art in the United States. Its network of programs include Animating Democracy, which combines arts and civic engagement, the National Arts Marketing Project, and the Arts Action Fund. Consider donating to Americans for the Arts here.
If you're based in Chicago, definitely take a look at 3Arts. The nonprofit has a multitude of programs supporting artists with residencies, grants, and more. The organization also recognizes 10 women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities every year with awards; so far, they've distributed more than $2.4 million. You can support 3Arts here.
Founded in 1999, Creative Capital supports artists' projects and provides them with career counseling and development opportunities. "Our pioneering approach—inspired by venture-capital principles—helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices," reads the organization's website. To donate, head over here.
The nonprofit Artspace supports artists in an unexpected way: by providing them with affordable spaces to live and work. "While embracing the value the arts bring to individual lives, Artspace has championed the once-radical idea that artists living on the edge of poverty and chronically underfunded arts organizations can leverage fundamental social change," the organization explains on its website. You can donate to Artspace here.
10National Association of Latino Arts & Culture
Dedicated to the promotion of Latinx culture, NALAC was named one of Philanthropedia's top nonprofits in 2014. It awards 49 grants to artists each year and provides leadership programs as well as training workshops. You can check it out and donate to NALAC on its website; look for the "donate" button on the right.
11First Peoples Fund
Since 1995, the First Peoples Fund supports and honors indigenous artists and leaders through grants, fellowships, and awards. Over the years, it's awarded millions to individual artists and community organizations supporting them. "Art is not only a sustainable way for Native peoples to make a living, but it is deeply embedded in communities and the cultural foundation and history of tribes, which makes it important and valuable," the FPF writes on its website. You can donate here.
12Arab American National Museum
An affiliate of the Smithsonian, the AANM is the United States' first (and only) museum about Arab American history. Following Trump's budget proposal, the museum's director, Devon M. Akmon, released a statement. "The NEA and NEH have played a critical role in helping our institution provide accurate and reliable information on Arab Americans while working to build greater connectivity among all Americans. ... We are a more vibrant and democratic society with their support," he wrote.
To donate to the museum, head over here.
13Queer Cultural Center
Created in 1993, the Queer Cultural Center (QCC) "fosters the artistic, economic and cultural development of San Francisco’s LGBT community." Programs include Creating Queer Community, which commissions local LGBTQ artists, and the famous month-long National Queer Arts Festival celebrating, well, queer arts. Like all nonprofits, QCC depends on donations. If you're interested in supporting it, check out its website.