What does the NEA's $148-million budget buy? — 7,400 portraits of Donald Trump but not even one mile of the 405 Freeway - Michael Israel

What does the NEA’s $148-million budget buy? — 7,400 portraits of Donald Trump but not even one mile of the 405 Freeway

VIA LA Times

What does the NEA’s $148-million budget buy? — 7,400 portraits of Donald Trump — at $20,000 a portrait — painted by “the original speed painter” Michael Israel (Washington Post)

President Trump has issued his federal budget, and it contains not a penny for the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal arts funding agency that has been the perennial whipping child of the right.

Culture critics, such as The Times’ Christopher Knight, immediately noted that the NEA’s annual budget — which was nearly $148 million in fiscal year 2016 — is minuscule compared to other federal expenditures. Defense, for example, is more than 3,600 times that — almost $583 billion a year. (Perhaps it’s time to ask the Pentagon to economize on toilet paper?)

All of this means that doing away with the NEA isn’t going to save much money, but it will hurt a lot of arts organizations — many of which cater to constituencies that include schoolchildren and military veterans.

Which raises the question: What exactly can one do with $148 million — besides fund thousands of arts programs in communities large and small across the nation? When it comes to big, infrastructure-y photo-op stuff — like expanding a freeway or building a border wall — not all that much. It won’t even get you an entire Picasso at auction.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Share This
CHARITY SHOW GRANTS
All 2016 Grants have been awarded Apply now for 2017 Grants
Each year our charity advisory board awards 12 Zero Cost fundraising shows for worthy causes. Michael donates his performance and we cover flights, hotel, and more! Tell us about your charity.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
SIGN UP NOW
STAY NOTIFIED ABOUT UPCOMING SHOWS
WIN PASSES & RECEIVE SPECIAL OFFERS
SEE MICHAEL'S LATEST ARTWORKS