WASHINGTON, DC — On September 30, President Biden released a proclamation declaring October 2022 as National Arts and Humanities Month and issued an executive order to promote the arts, humanities, museum and library services by reestablishing the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
As the union behind entertainment – representing behind-the-scenes workers who make a living in the arts and humanities – IATSE applauds the Biden Administration’s renewed commitment to this sector which is critical to our economy and the very fabric of American society. Federal arts agencies – like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) – support working families, bolster local economies, and ensure all Americans have access to the arts and entertainment.
Commenting on the order, IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “We are encouraged by the re-establishment of President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, which had been dissolved under the Trump Administration. We urge President Biden to ensure that union arts and humanities workers are represented on this important advisory committee.”
IATSE is resolved to take continued steps to foster a more inclusive and representative entertainment industry, so we are also pleased the President’s executive order pledges to “advance the cause of equity and accessibility by lifting up more — and more diverse — voices and experiences through Federal support for the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services.” Equity and inclusion are essential, not only as a matter of doing what is right but also for the long-term sustainability of the creative sector.
Additionally, funding for the arts directly impacts job growth and work for our skilled craftspeople. IATSE is continuously at the forefront of advocacy efforts to increase federal arts funding. We are currently engaged in a campaign urging the U.S. Senate to fund the NEA and NEH at $207 million in FY23, the funding level already passed by the House. If enacted by Congress, this proposed increase of $27 million would be a record-high for the agencies and make a meaningful step toward our goal of funding the NEA and NEH at $1 per capita, or $331 million, which we continue to fight for.
IATSE joins President Biden’s call to strengthen America’s creative and cultural economy, and we look forward to collaborating with the administration to achieve that goal.