New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has released a statement regarding the news that the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee today approved President Biden’s full budgetary request of $201 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. 

“We are so grateful that the House appropriations committee recognizes President Biden’s vision for a robust return to the arts industry,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “This record-high funding for the NEA will ensure that live entertainment can come back stronger than ever, and contribute to local economies all around the country. We are grateful for the leadership of Chairwoman DeLauro and Subcommittee Chairwoman Pingree and the entire Appropriations Committee for moving this bill to the House floor.” 

Background: Equity has long made public arts funding a cornerstone of the union’s advocacy. This included fighting back against multiple attempts for the Trump administration to eliminate the NEA altogether, and championing a budgetary increase of over $7 million last year.  

The union, which participates every year in Arts Advocacy Day, is pushing for a long-term goal of Congress to increase NEA’s budget increase to $331 million, a dollar per capita. It recently celebrated Biden’s record-high funding proposal for the agency. Recently, in partnership with IATSE, Equity's members and allies sent nearly 14,000 letters to their elected representatives in support of increasing funding for the NEA.

The union has also called for a chief diversity officer at the NEA. 

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks

July 1, 2021