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Executive Director letter 2/13/18

President Donald Trump released his budget proposal yesterday calling for the defunding of major cultural and social programs and increases in military spending and tax cuts. But didn’t Congress already pass a budget last week? Why is this relevant now?

On February 9, Congress did pass a budget bill that keeps the government running through March 23 (a Continuing Resolution) and sets upper funding levels for a two-year budget. Now the negotiations around the details of spending, or appropriations, are underway. While it is Congress and not the President who make appropriations decisions, Trump released his budget as a roadmap for the 2019 budget beginning October 1, 2018. Even if lawmakers discount the President’s recommendations, this is the time when horse trading occurs and it is essential that advocates work with lawmakers to continue support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Studies, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and others. For further clarification about the budget process stands, check out this special edition of the National Council of Nonprofits newsletter. You can learn more about the President’s proposed budget impacts the arts and humanities from Americans for the Arts.

Congratulations to the 2018 Baker Artist Portfolios Finalists. If you haven’t heard already, take a moment and check out the amazing work of these 32 artists. An announcement of the Baker Artist Award Winners will take place on a special edition of Maryland Public Television’s Artworks program.

Among these talented finalists is Baltimore’s Amy Sherald whose acclaimed portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama was unveiled at a special ceremony yesterday at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Amy was also recently awarded the David C. Driskell Prize. Established by the High Museum of Art in 2005, the Prize is the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of art of the African Diaspora.

Speaking of funding, the deadline for the Rubys Artists Grants for Media Arts and Performing Arts is February 28! If you’re an artist in these fields, don’t miss the chance to share your favorite project idea.

Sending lots of Valentine’s love to our readers,

All the best,


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