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Unions React to President Eliminating Arts Funding

April 13, 2017  
By Jerry Cohen, LaborPress USA

American Federation of Musicians joined 11 other arts and entertainment unions in sending a letter to Congress opposing President Donald Trump’s proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

In the joint letter, the unions urged Congress to maintain current funding levels for all three institutions, which are vital to the U.S. economy and culture. The coalition noted that jobs in smaller, rural communities would be impacted most by the proposed cuts—not those in Hollywood or on Broadway.

“Eliminating arts funding is outrageous and unacceptable,” said AFM President Ray Hair. “There are orchestras, festivals and theaters in all 50 states that would be permanently damaged without NEA support. Congress must fully these essential institutions.”

The following unions sent the letter:
    •    Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
    •    American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
    •    American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA)
    •    American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA)
    •    Directors Guild of America (DGA)
    •    Guild of Italian American Actors (GIAA)
    •    International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE)
    •    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
    •    Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU)
    •    SAG-AFTRA
    •    Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
    •    Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE)

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