As the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, former chair of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and a lifelong, passionate champion of the arts, I read with complete dismay last week the administration’s preliminary federal budget proposal that would eliminate all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Art is essential. Art inspires wonder. It reaches across geographical and chronological boundaries and allows us to explore what is fundamental about our shared humanity in an increasingly complex time. Art is vital to the development of critical thinking and communication skills, literacy, global understanding, and empathy. Our nation’s thriving cultural sector provides access to the arts for all Americans and supports employment, education, and quality of life in communities across the country. In addition, the arts and culture segment contributes $704 billion to the U.S. economy annually, or 4.2% of our GDP.
Mia stands with our museum colleagues, AAM, AAMD, and our fellow arts institutions and artists in support of the NEA, NEH, and IMLS. There is a tradition of strong bipartisan support for these agencies. We encourage Mia visitors and all who benefit from the arts to be part of the national conversation on this critical issue about who we want to be as a nation and the values we promote today and in the future.
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