Proposed White House budget could affect funding of Houston arts programs

HOUSTON – The arts community in the Houston area could be negatively affected by the new proposed White House budget.

President Trump released the budget Thursday and the news is not good for the National Endowment for the Arts.

It’s one of the many notable programs on the chopping block. The arts are a big part of the fabric of the Houston community.

Money from the National Endowment for the Arts does so much to help arts and education on so many levels in Houston and in Harris County. It provides funding to museums, lots of different arts and education programs in our schools, the Alley Theater and the Folk Program at the Houston Arts Alliance.

The Arts Alliance focuses on grassroots outreach, highlighting and honoring artistic traditions that don’t often find their way to a concert stage or an exhibition hall. Local art programs that get money from the National Endowment for the Arts use those federal dollars as leverage to get additional funds from the state and local level as well as from the private sector.

The Houston Arts Alliance says eliminating funding on the national level could have serious ramifications for the Texas Commission on the Arts, which funds organizations with ties to the arts all across Houston.

“The likelihood is high that many institutions throughout the city that serve all kinds of communities will lose funding and perhaps greatly reduce their programming or possibly shutter their organizations,” said Pat Jasper, of the Houston Arts Alliance. The three local programs that could be affected are the Houston Arts Partners, Young Audiences and Writers in Schools.

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