There are many people across the country who have been waiting on tenterhooks to find out whether or not arts education funding at the United States Department of Education would be zeroed out. It includes funding for the Kennedy Center, VSA Arts, and the competitive grant programs: Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination and Professional Development for Arts Education.
I am very happy to report that the $25 million that the Senate had proposed, which is a cut from $40 million, is in the budget agreement.
A lot of people dug in to advocate for these programs, including most of the grantees and their partner schools. However, recognition must be paid for the leadership and exemplary work provided by Narric Rome, Senior Director of Federal Affairs and Arts Education, and Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, League of American Orchestras.
Of course, a big word of thanks must also be paid to all of the elected officials who supported arts education.
And, besides a big sigh of relief, I feel compelled to note that the work that went into advocating for these programs augurs well for the future, if we remain determined to build upon this moment, rather than recede back into the implementation of programs and nurturing of our individual organizations.