|And the Dramatists Guild sent a letter to members this afternoon.|
|Posted by: Delvino 07:29 pm EDT 03/17/17|
|In reply to: Equity President Kate Shindle calls on President Trump to fully fund the National Endowment for the Arts - Official_Press_Release 05:16 pm EDT 03/17/17|
|Dear Fellow Dramatists Guild Member,
It is alarming to us that the proposed national budget includes substantial cuts to arts related programs, including the NEA, NIH, and Public Broadcasting. We are in the process of gathering more specific information about local cuts in your area, in order to determine how these cuts will affect your community and local economy. We believe this to be an important piece in serving and advocating for our membership, as we understand that the development and support of new works comes in many forms, including local arts organizations that may be heavily impacted by these changes.
Your Council recently voted and passed the formation of a Political Engagement Committee, which will be focused ways that the Guild can advocate for legislation as it directly pertains to our members. The Guild is dedicated to remaining nonpartisan in these efforts. We will keep you updated as we move forward.
An article to the Washington Post was recently published describing how these cuts can affect local communities, and we thought it might be informative to pass along to our members. It can be viewed by clicking this link.
We are including a copy of Dramatists Guild president Doug Wright's initial statement on the retraction of arts funding sent out in January.
We look forward to working with you to preserve the arts in America.
The Dramatists Guild Staff
Your Guild is acutely aware of newspaper reports stating that the incoming Trump administration wants to slash the Federal budget with a host of ill-conceived cuts. Notable among these is proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts.
We recognize that this is a specious, even disingenuous idea since the Endowment is .003 percent of the national budget; abolishing it will do little to curb spending. On the contrary; such action will do us all financial harm, as we've seen again and again that the arts prove themselves a worthy investment. Theatre alone contributes roughly $7.1 billion to the national economy.
Destroying the endowment isn't only misguided fiscal policy; it would also have catastrophic symbolic impact as well. It would render concrete the world's suspicion that our nation is becoming increasingly anti-cultural, anti-intellectual, and anti-humanitarian. It will demoralize those Americans who already feel under siege by the new administration. It will demonize artists, the true arbiters of our national and spiritual conscience.
The arts promote empathy, nourish the spirit, and increase our understanding of complex, eternal truths. Our government should value them as central to our national wellbeing. To do less is to invite a further slide into the rancor and vulgarity that increasingly constitutes our national discourse.
The Dramatists Guild will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are strategizing a rigorous, forceful response should plans to eradicate the NEA move forward. In the meantime, we urge you-American dramatists-to use your authorial gifts to address these and other troubling political developments on stages all across this country.
President, The Dramatists Guild of America
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