Pingree Welcomes NEA Chair to Maine, Touts Vibrant Arts Scene and Power of Robust Federal Funding for the Arts
Maine’s First District Congresswoman and National Endowment for the Arts Chair made stops in Waterville, Rockland, and Portland, visiting a variety of arts organizations and hearing from local cultural leaders and members of Maine’s artist communities
Portland, Maine, August 25, 2023
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) hosted National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson for a comprehensive tour of the arts communities in Waterville, Rockland, and Portland. During the event-filled two-day trip, Pingree and Chair Jackson visited a variety of arts organizations, including Waterville Creates, the Farnsworth Museum of Art, Indigo Arts Alliance, Mayo Street Arts, and the Portland Museum of Art, and heard directly from members of Maine’s arts communities, including conversations with Wabanaki cultural leaders and organizations serving youth. In addition, Pingree highlighted how the arts scenes in Maine have grown and thrived thanks to federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“The arts are a powerful tool for economic development and education, and, as the pandemic has shown us, are incredibly impactful on our lives—fostering creativity, engaging our communities, and supporting the growing creative sector,” said Pingree. “As ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees funding for the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities, I was proud to have the chance to show Chair Jackson how the federal dollars we fight to secure each year in Congress are having a direct, positive impact on communities in Maine.”
“I am grateful to Congresswoman Pingree and her staff for the invitation to visit Maine,” said Chair Jackson. “This has been an important opportunity to meet with local artists and arts organizations, learn more their work, and explore together how the arts can contribute to healthy communities where all Mainers can thrive.”
Pingree is ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees funding for NEA. As Chair of the Subcommittee in the 117th Congress, Pingree oversaw an Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023 that dedicated the highest-ever level of funding for the arts and humanities, including $207 million each for the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In July, House Republicans advanced their Interior Appropriations bill for the 2024 fiscal year that would cut funding for the NEA and NEH.
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States.