NEH chairman William D. Adams resigned on Tuesday after less than three years leading the organization. With funding recently reaffirmed for the current fiscal year, Adams was able to say in his statement, “We’re encouraged that Congress and the President increased our funding for the current year and that the White House has initiated the process of bringing new political appointees to the agency. Deputy chair Margaret Plympton will serve as acting chair.
At the same time, however, the organization was forced to submit a fiscal 2018 budget appropriations request that asks Congress for a pared down $42 million “to begin the orderly closure of the agency.” But Plympton said in a separate press release that, “As NEH awaits Congressional action on the President’s proposed budget, the agency is continuing normal operations and will be making the next round of FY 2017 awards following the meeting of the National Council in July.”
The NEA is in a similar position, required to submit a modest 2018 budget request of $29 million to begin their own orderly closure. As a spokesperson explained to artnet News: “As all federal agencies and departments are part of the executive branch and led by the president, we work in close coordination with the White House and the Office of Management on budget requests. In addition, agencies and departments are forbidden from lobbying on their own behalf. So the NEA can educate, but we cannot advance our own cause.”