Arts Programming in Libraries and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Angela Thullen | March 17, 2009
We at the ALA Public Programs Office hear stories from many libraries of how the economic downturn is negatively impacting their capacity for cultural programming. In this time of diminishing budgets, it is particularly important that libraries stay informed of potential funding opportunities for programming.
Funding may be available from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Although few libraries will be able to apply directly to the NEA, we urge all libraries to contact their local and regional arts councils and arts organizations about regranting funds they may be receiving under this act.
If your library is planning to cut any programming that would provide artists with fee for services, your library may be eligible for these funds. Local, state and regional arts organizations who will serve as the regranting agencies need to know the anticipated need from libraries for these funds to support artists and arts programming.
More information about the available funding from NEA is provided on the organization’s Web site.
In the mean time, the ALA Public Programs Office encourages libraries and librarians to let their local, state and regional arts agencies know of the important role libraries are playing as supporters and employers in the arts through excellent and innovative visual, literary, folk and performing arts programming for youth, adult and family audiences. Even if you have never previously contacted you local, state or regional arts agency, please call to remind them of the importance of your library in supporting the arts through community engagement.
Angela Thullen is Program Officer/Communications for the ALA Public Programs Office.