A recent Indiewire article written by Chris O’Falt reported the value of the arts and argued against President Trump’s plans to dissolve the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). Firstly, the article identified the economic value of the arts by reporting that the NEA actually profits from contribution to the arts. According to the New York arts institution, “every dollar the NEA contributes leads to nine additional dollars being donated from other sources.” The NEA is not a waste as Trump has indicated. In fact, it is very profitable. A businessman like Trump can do the math and realize the NEA is worth keeping.
O’Falt also mentioned that American cinema is glorified all over the world. With Trump’s obsession with power and image, it seems counterintuitive to reduce funding on a program that aids in projects that are idolized and envied across the globe. Decreasing funding for this would only serve to reduce the appeal of America, which is already fairly low as a result of this new administration.
Film and other forms of art do not only enhance American image. They help people live. The New York arts institute also added, “a veteran’s exposure to art therapy brings healing and hope. A student’s participation in music class improves math scores and critical thinking skills. Art shapes achievement with profound and practical effects.” These are very powerful words. Art transforms lives and brings color to an otherwise dreary world. Defunding the NEA is not only economically flawed, but it would also deprive people of the opportunity to see unique artistic expressions, which can shape the personality of an individual in very positive ways. There is simply no good reason to eliminate this program.