If it passes, Trump’s budget will annihilate one-fifth of New Urban Arts’ operating budget by eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (the federal funding stream for afterschool programs), the National Endowment for the Humanities, Community Development Block Grants, AmeriCorps, and CACFP (the federal afterschool snack program).
This is not a coincidence; we aren’t a minor casualty in a scattershot budget war. New Urban Arts, organizations like us, and—above all—the communities we serve are the target. Our youth come from the most vulnerable populations in our country, those that Trump and his strategists have been using as scapegoats for the country’s problems since their campaign began.
We’re also a target of these budget cuts because New Urban Arts is at odds with this administration’s worldview. In a 2009 interview on Fox News’ Hannity, Andrew Breitbart (the founder of Breitbart News, where White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon served as executive chair) referred to multiculturalism as a weapon in a war on American values.
New Urban Arts represents the cultural changes that are an inevitable and beautiful result of this country’s shifting demographics, but apparently what takes place here threatens the current White House. And what does take place here? We create a safe space, and within it, our youth have unfettered access to as many cultural tools as we can provide.
It’s particularly embittering that this assault comes just as we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. Just when we should be taking a long view, of both our past and our future, we are bogged down, considering painful cuts to our programs and creating contingency plans to prepare for every eventuality.
Nevertheless, Trump’s budget is still far from approval, and there is a lot that you can do to defend and support New Urban Arts.
The Afterschool Alliance has created a form letter generator, which you can access here, to contact your legislator and express your concern.
Donate! New Urban Arts’ 20th Birthday Bash is coming up on Friday, April 21. Whether or not you can make it, we hope you’ll give generously to support our vital work.
Thank you so much,
New Urban Arts