Dear Friends,

By now you’ve likely heard the President’s proposed federal budget calls for elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

NEA funding is vital to Ovations and the entire arts sector here in Portland, across the state, and the country.

For almost a decade, Ovations has been extremely fortunate to receive direct funding from the NEA—$150K over the past five years alone. Elimination of the NEA would also affect the Maine Arts Commission, New England Foundation for the Arts and other agencies that are heavily funded by the NEA, putting additional grant money for Ovations and others–including Maine artists–at risk. Moreover, many of the artists and organizations we bring to Portland receive NEA funding to make and tour their work.

Your voice is needed. Please help by contacting Maine’s members of Congress and urging them to fight to keep these essential agencies—agencies that were created with bi-partisan support.

Things to know:

  • The NEA represents a negligible amount of the national budget (.004 percent) but its impact on arts organizations is huge.
  • It’s more than money, NEA funding is symbolic and allows arts organizations to leverage additional funds.
  • In contrast to U.S. goods and services as a whole, arts and cultural commodities are yielding a trade surplus of $24 billion.*
  • Performing arts companies and independent artists, writers, and performers are among leading contributors to arts-related GDP. The arts are American homegrown and can’t be outsourced to other countries.*
  • The arts and cultural sector is a sizeable JOBS sector, generating 4.7 million jobs, with more than 2.2 million people in the U.S. whose primary occupation is artist.*
  • Ovations alone contributes $2.5m annually to the local economy and pays more than 75 MAINE vendors in excess of $500K each year.

Calling and writing makes a difference. We need your voice.

Thank you for helping us save the NEA.


With gratitude,




Aimée M. Petrin
Executive & Artistic Director


“The world leadership, which has come to the United States, cannot rest solely upon superior power, wealth, and technology, but must be founded upon worldwide respect and admiration for the nation’s high qualities as a leader in the realm of ideas and of the spirit.”President Lyndon B. Johnson, signing the Arts and Humanities Act, creating the NEA & NEH


*Additional national arts advocacy information provided by Americans for the Arts


Calling and writing makes a difference. We need your voice.


Senator Susan CollinsSenator Angus KingU.S. Rep. Chellie PingreeU.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin
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