March 16, 2017

A Statement from the International Documentary Association on Funding for the NEA, NEH and CPB

The International Documentary Association expresses profound dismay at the recent proposed federal budget eliminating funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The budget of these three agencies represent a tiny portion of the overall Federal Budget - just over $2 per person per year - yet they have an outsized impact on communities, organizations and artists.

Both the NEA and NEH support artists, scholars, historians, arts organizations, and documentary filmmakers - in communities large and small around the country. As such they are nurturing and preserving our collective cultural heritage. Grants provided by the NEA and NEH serve as a catalyst for other institutions to support cultural activities by matching the federal commitment and they serve as a validation of excellence.

CPB, through its support of PBS, local public media stations and filmmakers helps to tell the history of our country, teaches our children and supports the only commercial-free space on the media spectrum.

Collectively, these institutions capture the stories of all of America, with its increasingly diverse population, including youth and underserved communities.

IDA represents the community of documentary filmmakers, producers and media artists who would be adversely affected by these cuts, potentially creating a devastating environment for public media.

We urge the administration and members of congress to reconsider these draconian cuts, to restore full funding to these agencies and reinvest in our shared cultural life.