March 30. 2017 6:52PM

Starving artists: End the NEA

EDITORIAL


Not every good thing in life needs to be funded by the federal taxpayers.

And removing federal subsidies for arts programs will not mean the death of art in America.

Yet recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts would have you believe that cutting $719,000 in federal spending on New Hampshire arts programs would crush painting, sculpture and music in the Granite State.

Artists and patrons held a news conference in Concord to protest President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which would zero out the NEA, the National Endowment for the Humanities, public broadcasting subsidies, and a handful of other nonessential federal agencies.

These are relatively small programs, and eliminating them won’t balance the federal budget or pay down our $20 trillion national debt. But if we can’t stop subsidizing Masterpiece Theater and concerts at the Capitol Center for the Arts, what hope do we have to ever tackle federal entitlements?

The NEA hasn’t helped Nashua City for the Arts. The dormant organization wants to dissolve and donate its remaining assets to the Currier Museum of Art. Should government step in to keep an inactive arts group alive?

Art is a good thing. A thriving arts community provides economic, cultural, and spiritual benefits. That no more justifies taxpayer funding than Big Bird, currently starring on HBO.

Art can thrive without public money.