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National Endowment for the Arts visits West Virginia

By JENNIFER GARDNER

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Tom Simplot, senior adviser to the senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, speaks at the Arts in Our Communities conference Thursday at the Culture Center.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the federal government continues its back and forth over the budget, members of the arts community in West Virginia are awaiting grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

During a visit to West Virginia last week, Tom Simplot, senior adviser to the senior deputy chairman of the NEA, was the keynote speaker at the Arts in Our Communities Conference at the Culture Center in Charleston. The statewide conference focused on creative community development and featured national and state experts.

In his presentation, Simplot spoke to members of the arts community who are awaiting grant monies and presented the NEA’s vision to “build the bench” by encouraging them to advocate to lawmakers on the importance of arts programs in their communities.
“In essence what we are doing is we are preparing — we’re educating and communicating to those who are elected, those who are in our communities, so that by the time they may be elected to Congress in five, 10, 20 years from now, they don’t have to be re-educated about being involved in the arts,” Simplot said. “Wouldn’t that be a good idea today so they don’t have to be re-educated once they get into Congress?”

The future of arts in America appeared grim 11 months ago when President Donald Trump proposed a budget that eliminated federal funding for the NEA.

Read the entire article: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/national-endowment-for-the-arts-visits-west-virginia/article_faadb7c4-e5fa-522c-9fd8-82599cdfbf43.html

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