Can you imagine the world without art? What kind of place would it be? Sterile, dark, unimaginative. In my opinion, art, music, museums, public radio, and our historic sites are what make American great.
How can we envision a great America without these things?
Art costs money. Like everything, including preservation, education, and productive curation there is an ongoing transaction requiring sweat, practice, skill, and resources. Each and every beautiful thing needs someone to believe in it and to support it.
This includes that provocative off-off-Broadway play that changed your life, the oil painting that demanded your attention and inspired you at the age of seventeen, or an orchestra elevating the collective mind and spirit.
But, money makes these things go round. At some point, fiscal endowments make it possible for others to share in the experience.
Take for example our parks systems. For years the Mamapalooza Festival, and others like it, have offered free family activities in Riverside Park So., right in front of Trump Tower in New York City. The PR department for the building reached out to us on a number of occasions because they recognized the value that programs like Mamapalooza brought to their community.
So imagine how upset I was today when I received an Advocacy Alert Newsletter from the Alliance of American Museums listing the following statistics. This is what they had to say:
President Trump Proposes Elimination of IMLS, NEH, NEA
In his formal Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal released yesterday, President Trump proposed the elimination of several key agencies that support museums, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The $4.1 trillion spending plan—which will now be considered by Congress—allocates a minimal amount of funding to begin the process of closing these agencies.
Specifically, President Trump’s budget proposes:
- $23 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services—a $208 million decrease—to begin closing the agency. No new grants would be awarded.
- $42.3 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities—a $107.5 million decrease—to begin closing the agency. No new grants would be awarded.
- $28.9 million for the National Endowment for the Arts—a $120.9 million decrease—to begin closing the agency. No new grants would be awarded.
- $51.1 million for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, a $7.3 million decrease.
- $719 million for salaries and expenses at the Smithsonian Institution, a $10.4 million decrease. The Smithsonian facilities capital account would receive $228 million, a $94.1 million increase over current funding.
- $2.225 billion for National Park Service Operations, a $200 million decrease.
- $760.5 million for the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources Directorate, a $119.5 million decrease.
- $37 million for the NASA Office of Education—a $63 million decrease—to begin closing the office.
Other agencies and programs that would be eliminated in this proposal include grants to civil rights movement sites, Save America’s Treasures, the Office of Education at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and arts education and afterschool grant programs at the U.S. Department of Education.
- Take Action to help us protect and preserve these important agencies and programs!
- Donate Now to support the cause of museums!
This year’s Mamapalooza Festival theme is “Sing Out Sister”. We are advocating that you find your voice and bring a message of peace, tolerance, and equality. Fierce FEMINISTS as well as FAMILIES of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds WELCOME. [SEE LINEUP HERE]
In addition, we need to make some noise. about all this terrible compromising of the programs that do the most benefit to our society at large. Other than food, art is the most powerful, inspiring, and important thing culture has to offer. Let’s keep ours strong! ~MJR
*Please also join me in London for Oxytocin, Birthing the World on June 3rd at Royal College of the Arts. I will be speaking along with other prominent artists, health care professionals, and those interested in promoting mother studies at an International day-long Symposium.
Here you can find all the info [LINK]
*Gorgeous photo featured in this blog is Alyson Palmer, former Mama Coordinator, Badass Talented Musician, and member of the band BETTY