It’s not time to panic over NEA news

A mural restoration at a historic downtown church.

An after-school strings education program to benefit inner-city elementary students.

Saving jobs that were at risk during the Great Recession.

That – and dozens more art-related initiatives – is what the National Endowment for the Arts has funded in the Charleston area over the last decade. It has been impactful and empowering. Recent news suggests that the NEA may be on the chopping block.

Anyone with a vested interest in the arts should be keeping close tabs on this. And thus, everyone should, because the arts affect us all. The federal budget is a large, slow moving beast of a creature, so undoubtedly any action will take time. We encourage you to study this issue. Now is not the time for panic, but for education and observation.

Additionally, now is the time to mark your calendars for Feb. 7, where you can join us in Columbia for SC Arts Advocacy Day. Every year, we head to Columbia and join artists and arts supporters across the Palmetto State to let our legislators know how much we appreciate their support of the arts. We hope you will be there with us this year.

Thank you for your support of the arts, and for sharing the message far and wide that #artsmatter.