The National Endowment for the Arts is a federal agency created to fund and promote participation in arts across the US. Thank the activity of the organization, culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse Americans have an equal access to creating and cherishing arts. In the last year, the agency celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and provided a review of its major achievements.
The NEA aims to promote both new and established arts and provide education in this sphere. The agency offers grants for art projects, national initiatives, and partnership agreements. It works with various art forms such as traditional, performing, and visual arts; the grants are also available for literary artists, creative writers, and translators. The National Endowment for the Arts has a number of regional, federal, and international partner organizations. A sufficient part of its funding goes to these regional arts organizations which act to promote the same goals.
For the 50 years of its existence, the organization experienced governmental objections and attempts to abolish. Reagan’s administration intended to terminate its activity in 1981 as the annual budget of the agency made up nearly $150 million. Artists who exhibited for the grants issued by the NEA were persecuted for their controversial pictures. Many exhibitions were canceled and withdrawn. Conflicts between the organization and governmental officials and arose in 1989. Attacks renewed in 1994 as the NEA was treated by Congresspeople as a wasteful and useless agency.
Until 2010, the National Endowment for the Arts issued 128,000 grants, which totaled more than $5 billion. Despite a long history of persecution, the agency with its local branches remains the largest patron of the artists in the US.