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All concerts and public events through June 13 have been cancelled. Learn More

Joining Together To Save the NEA

Posted February 28, 2017


The New York Philharmonic has joined with the entire Lincoln Center community in calling upon the federal government to continue supporting the National Endowment for the Arts.

Music and all the other performing arts inspire and delight audiences, as we all know, but they do so much more, from expanding children’s potential and healing veterans to powering communities and the economy, and more! Read the full statement below, and consider what impact the arts have had in your own lives.


From our stages and screens at Lincoln Center in New York City — which draw more than six million people to the largest performing arts center in the world — to theaters, concert halls, and galleries across America, the arts inspire and delight people from every walk of life, at every stage of life.

A child's early introduction to ballet teaches strength and discipline. A veteran's exposure to art therapy brings healing and hope. A student's participation in music class improves math scores and critical thinking skills. Art shapes achievement, with profound and practical effects.

Still more, art anchors communities. In American cities and towns, arts institutions and districts are breathing life into neighborhoods — attracting investment, spurring development, fueling innovation, and creating jobs. Arts and culture help power the U.S. economy at the astounding level of $704.2 billion each year.

Beyond our shores, American arts institutions are the envy of the world. In a unique public-private model, private sources provide the vast majority of funding for our artists and arts organizations. Government helps in targeted ways at pivotal moments, for example, by providing early funding to get projects off the ground or helping to create or expand promising initiatives to achieve greater reach and impact.

Underlying all of this is the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more than 50 years, the NEA has provided leadership in the public arts arena. Yet today it faces an uncertain future as its federal funding is considered for elimination. The total cost of the NEA is less than one dollar a year for every American. But because it is so successful and its imprimatur so prestigious, every dollar the NEA contributes leads to nine additional dollars being donated from other sources.

A great America needs that kind of return.

We hold close the words of Lincoln Center’s inaugural president, John D. Rockefeller III, who said, "The arts are not for the privileged few, but for the many. Their place is not on the periphery of daily life, but at its center. They should function not merely as another form of entertainment but, rather, should contribute significantly to our well-being and happiness."

To preserve the human and economic benefits of the arts, we urge continued federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Suzanne Davidson, Executive Director

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Lesli Klainberg, Executive Director

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Greg Scholl, Executive Director

The Juilliard School

Joseph W. Polisi, President 

Lincoln Center Theater

André Bishop, Producing Artistic Director

The Metropolitan Opera

Peter Gelb, General Manager

New York City Ballet

Katherine E. Brown, Executive Director

New York Philharmonic

Matthew VanBesien, President

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. & Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director

School of American Ballet

Marjorie Van Dercook, Executive Director

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Liza Parker, Chief Operating Officer

(Photo: Michael DiVito)