How the US Government Spends Money on Culture

Chelsea Korynta
  Staff Writer

The US Federal Government funds programs like the military, public education and medicare. The government also sends funding to the teams that produce Clifford the Big Red Dog and Sesame Street. In fact, a total of about $741 million dollars goes to the National Endowment for the Arts (N.E.A.), the National Endowment for the Humanities (N.E.H.), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (C.P.B) – three organizations that foster artists and communities of American creators.

The National Endowment of the Arts was created in 1965 when President Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act. The N.E.A.’s primary business has since been providing grants and fellowships to artists. Fellowships for thousands of musical ensembles like the All NEA Jazz Masters and All NEA Opera Honors have been distributed all over the country.

The N.E.A. provides creative writing fellowships of $25,000 to published writers who look to further their career, money that is used for research for newer writers trying to gain their footing in their craft. In what is arguably the most successful outcome of the grant program, Alice Walker received her fellowship in 1970. She went on to become the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for “The Color Purple” in 1983. The N.E.A. provides grants to translators from 77 countries, who work to translate books from 66 different languages.

The National Endowment for the Humanities was founded at the same time as the N.E.A., and offers money to researching efforts and cultural institutions. Their website lists their grant’s purposes as: strengthening learning efforts in colleges and schools, facilitating research and original scholarship and preserving and providing access to cultural and educational resources. The endowment has funded the research for seven thousand books and the Library of America editions of novels, essays, and other works of literature celebrating America’s heritage.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting developed alongside the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. It provides programming to 98 percent of U.S. households, which includes educational television shows for children, emergency broadcasting, and current affairs programming. Over 1,000 public radio stations and nearly 400 public television stations receive support from the C.P.B. PBS and NPR also operate under the C.P.B.

The United States’ budget currently stands at about $4.6 trillion per year. The money that goes to the N.E.A., N.E.H., and C.P.B. accounts for about .016 percent of the United State’s’ entire budget. It costs one American about $2.30 a year to fund these three organizations.

A report made by last month reported that Trump’s administration is planning to make cuts to U.S. spending that have a significant, or even fatal, impact on these organizations. According to The Hill, Trump’s team plans to reduce funding to several departments, projecting a reduction of $10.5 trillion dollars in federal spending over the next ten years. These proposed cuts would come from government departments whose funding falls under the category of “discretionary spending,” or non-entitlement programs for which funding from the federal government is mandatory.

As for departments that fund the arts, the new plan calls for the privatization of the C.P.B., while the N.E.A.and the N.E.H. would be entirely cut from government funding. This proposed budget cut isn’t a new one. You might remember criticism Mitt Romney faced during the 2012 election when he made a similar proposal for cuts to government spending (and was accused of wanting to “kill Big Bird”).

But as the Trump administration moves into office, artists have expressed their outrage at the proposal of these cuts. Those in defense of these organizations argue their outstanding impact on the cultural development of the United States.


*EIC Ready

*Word Count 639


Call For Art

The Carolinian is starting a new initiative to focus on student made artistic content. This will be open to visual artists, as well as authors’ prose and poetry. Entries will be reviewed by the  Editorial Board, and be featured within the following week of submission. In order to submit, please email the Arts & Entertainment Editor at


Upcoming Music, Film, and Events for February 2017

Sam Haw, Staff Writer


As the apocalypse draws nearer and nearer, we must turn to the culture to distract us from our demise. To help, I’ve compiled a few albums, movies, events and concerts that are all arriving in the coming future (I couldn’t go past February as there’s no guarantee that there will be a March).




Ryan Adams

North Carolina legend and Whiskeytown frontman, Ryan Adams, will release his 16th studio album, “Prisoner” on PAX-AM and Blue Note records on February 17. His recent cover of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” has garnered a lot of attention for this release.


Rhiannon Giddens

Greensboro-native Rhiannon Giddens will release her second solo album on February 24. Titled “Freedom Highway,” the record will be released through Nonesuch records.



The fourth album from the legendary bass player will arrive on February 24th. Containing features from Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell Williams, and Kenny Loggins (yeah, you read that right, the singer of “Danger Zone” is going to be on the same album as the guy who wrote “Black and Yellow”). The album is titled “Drunk” (guess you have to be if you put Loggins and Khalifa on the same album).




Fifty Shades Darker

The sequel to the critically-acclaimed Mark Rothko bio-pic, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” As Rothko continues filling his canvas, now he must move on to shadows… but what shade of black should he use? Why does he own 50 different tubes of black paint? Find out the answers to these enticing questions in a theater near you on February 10!


Lego Batman

It’s like the “Dark Knight” but Christian Bale and Heath Ledger are replaced with tiny plastic yellow figures played by Will Arnett and Zach Galifianakis. It plays in theaters around the world starting on February 10.




The Oscars  

On February 26, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the 89th Academy Awards. The ceremony should be kicking off around 8:30 p.m. on ABC. “La La Land” is taking the lead with fourteen nominations, including Best Picture.


Valentine’s Day

The holiday of love returns one last time before the world ends. Make your loved one feel special with ridiculous items like a heart shaped box of chocolates or an oversized teddy bear. And if you’re single, then maybe just eat a large amount of chocolate alone while crying to “Valentine’s Day,” the 2010 romantic-comedy starring Jessica Alba and Bradley Cooper.




Talib Kweli

On February 16 and 17, the legendary Brooklyn rapper will play at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham. Kweli will spend the week prior to this as an artist-in-residence at Duke University. Both shows start at 9:00 p.m.


Hamilton Leithauser

Fresh off a fantastic album with Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend, Leithauser will come to the Cat’s Cradle on February 21. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.


Double Barrel Benefit

WKNC’s annual fundraiser event kicks off at Kings in Raleigh on February 24-25. Performers will include DJ Paypal, Ace Henderson and the See Gulls.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Uncategorized

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