National Endowment for the Arts  

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"Thanks in large part to the National Endowment for the Arts, public radio continued to air a smattering of audio drama until the mid-1980s. From 1986 to 2002, NPR's most consistent producer of radio drama was the idiosyncratic Joe Frank, working out of KCRW in Santa Monica."--Sholem Stein

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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a United States government funded and donation assisted program that offers support and funding for projects that exhibit artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government.

The NEA mission is "to enrich our Nation and its diverse cultural heritage by supporting works of artistic excellence, advancing learning in the arts, and strengthening the arts in communities throughout the country." Its slogan is "Because a great country deserves great art."

Between 1965 and 2003, the agency has made in excess of 119,000 grants. Congress granted the NEA an annual funding of between $160 and $180 million from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. In 1996, Congress cut the NEA funding to $99.5 million as a result of pressure from conservative groups, including the American Family Association, who criticized the agency for using tax dollars to fund highly controversial artists such as Robert Clark Young, Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe, and the so-called "NEA Four." Since 1996, the NEA has partially rebounded with a 2004 budget of $121 million.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "National Endowment for the Arts" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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