Breaking News: Congress Provides Big Increases for the Arts in the FY23 Omnibus Bill

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Congratulations! Big victories for arts advocates in the FY 2023 Omnibus federal funding package.

After weeks of negotiations and months of collective advocacy by arts advocates, Congressional appropriators unveiled their FY 2023 omnibus appropriations package this morning to fund the federal government for next year. Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund released a joint press release with highlights of arts and cultural programs in this package.  

A 15% funding increase will go to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) of $27 million each, bringing them both up to an all-time budget high of $207 million. We were also very pleased that the equity and diversity grant-making recommendations that we advocated for are included in the report language that accompanies this funding. This funding increase and equity language are a testament to the strong and persistent advocacy of the arts community. In particular, the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition submitted a letter on behalf of nearly 100 arts organizations to Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chair of the Interior Subcommittee, requesting $207 million for FY23.

  • A $26.8 million increase to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
  • A $10 million increase for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  • A first-time ever budget allocation of $10 million in the Department of Defense to support creative arts therapies programs at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. An additional $5 million will go to the Department of Veterans Affairs for its Whole Health initiative. 
  • More than $66 million in direct project funding, also known as congressional earmarks, was awarded to over 68 arts organizations across the country. 
  • Level funding of $36.5 million was allocated to the Department of Education’s Assistance for Arts Education programs.
  • The Legacy IRA Act is part of bipartisan retirement legislation that is included in the omnibus spending bill. The provision would encourage charitable giving by expanding charitable rollover rules to enable seniors to make tax-free contributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to charities, including those specific to the arts, through life-income plans such as charitable annuities. The bill also indexes the IRA charitable rollover for inflation.
  • Arts in Education model programs funding will remain level at $36.5 million.
  • Increases will be made in K-12 well-rounded funding. The Every Student Succeeds Act lists arts education as a well-rounded subject that should be taught to all K-12 students. Well-rounded funding can be found in various programs such as:
    • Title I-A:  Financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. The program received $18.387 billion for FY23, a 5 percent increase from last year.
    • Title II-A: Professional Development for Educators, including arts educators. This program received $2.19 billion, a 1 percent increase from last year.
    • Title IV-A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant. This program received $1.38 billion, a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

POSTSCRIPT: President Biden signed the FY23 Omnibus bill into law on December 29, 2022.