Groban, Marsalis, Press Congress for Arts Funding
Guardian News (UK)
March 31 2009
By Brett Zongker
Musicians Josh Groban, Wynton Marsalis and Linda Ronstadt are pressing Congress for more public funding for the arts.
The three were among arts advocates who testified before a House subcommittee Tuesday. Ronstadt tells the subcommittee she's dismayed when school children can't sing a song as simple as "Happy Birthday" in the correct pitch.
Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts was slashed in the mid-1990s and has yet to return to a its high of $176 million in 1992.
This year, the federal stimulus package would add $50 million to the $155 million the agency is receiving from Congress. But supporters worry about how the NEA will fare in years when there's no infusion of stimulus dollars. They say 10,000 arts jobs are at risk this year.