While ArtServe has previously stated its position on earmarks, Senator Coburn's amendment is written too broadly, putting at risk numerous federal, state and regional arts, culture and arts education programs.
While it is obvious that many cultural project earmarks would be included in this ban, we are told that this amendment would likely prohibit funding to VSA Arts and the Kennedy Center for their arts education programming. The amendment could even impact the competitive grants of the Arts in Education program as well. Additionally, many education organizations from Teach for America and Communities in Schools to the National Writing Project and Reading is Fundamental are targeted by this amendment.
While many may be in favor of an elimination of earmarks, the programs we support are quite different from other congressionally directed spending that may only benefit a specific state, district or region and change year-to-year. In contrast, these programs are authorized nationally-structured programs with many years of bipartisan support and that benefit thousands of students and families in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In short, we are not what are envisioned as typical congressionally directed spending items that have invoked the public's demand for earmark reform.
It is because of this that we urge you to take a moment to visit http://www.capwiz.com/artsusa/
As always, if you have any questions or comments please email or call Mike Latvis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-379-5897.