Now that we know President Trump’s budget outlines the destruction of the National Endowment for the Arts, which funds a range of important programs, including public television and Broadway shows such as “Hamilton,” it is important to note that the literary arts receive virtually no support from national foundations outside of the NEA, and we lag behind our peers in leveraging individual philanthropy. So the consequences of losing NEA funding could be dire.
And the timing couldn’t be worse.
We live in a time of great cultural and economic division. Strangers hurl insults at one another online, hate crimes are on the rise, and civil political exchange is a relic of the past. We have seemingly lost our ability to understand one another and consequently have no ability to define, let alone work toward, any greater public good.