Sarabande + NEA

You've probably heard the news that the proposed federal budget calls for a total elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, two grant-giving organizations that have provided essential support to our nation’s cultural life and our work here at Sarabande.

For more than twenty years Sarabande has received generous funding from the NEA in support of our publishing and educational programming. 

Of our nearly 200 titles in print, half were produced with the aid from the NEA. These funds have enabled Sarabande to launch the careers of authors doing indispensable work. Over the years, our authors have gone on to win national honors, such as the PEN Open Book and Hemingway Awards, the National Jewish Book Award, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, and more. They have gone on to acquire full-time jobs in publishing, tenure track positions at universities, and communications work at major businesses.

Funds from the NEA also help sustain our Sarabande Writing Labs program, which reaches out locally to recent immigrants, at-risk and detained youth, and those affected by homelessness, addiction, and disability.

Today, we are joining with fellow publishers, literary organizations, and members of the arts community to call for continued funding of the NEA. Literature, and the arts broadly, are key to our identity, both individually and nationally. 

We sincerely hope you will support the continuation of these good works. Please join us today by making a donation and through advocating for the arts.



  • The total annual budget for the NEA is $148 million, and the NEH has a $146 million budget, which represents 0.003% of the federal budget respectively.
  • The NEA budget amounts to just 46 cents per capita.
  • The NEA is the only funder, public or private, that supports the arts in all 50 states.
  • The United States funds the arts in different ways, but the NEA is the largest single funder of the arts across America.
  • Since 1965, when the NEA launched, it has provided $116.6 million to literary organizations and more than $46 million to 3,000+ individual writers through individual fellowships.
  • In addition to supporting literary organizations and individual writers, the NEA’s literature program has two special literary projects—The Big Read, which encourages communities to read the same book, and Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation contest that annually engages more than 300,000 teens.

Read NEA Chair Jane Chu’s statement and NEH Chairman William D. Adams’s statement on the proposed elimination of these agencies in the FY18 budget.

To find even more facts about the NEA, visit Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Don’t miss its ten reasons to support the arts.


  • Call your representatives and tell them how important the NEA has been to your organization.
  • Don’t know who your representative in the House is? Find out here.
  • Don’t know who your senator is? Find out here.
  • Write them letters.
  • Check out Pen America’s list of action steps.



Learn more about LitNet, a coalition of nonprofit literary organizations that advocates for federal and other funding for the literary arts. Follow the links below for additional resources.

Support Sarabande

Your financial partnership is always needed, but never more so than it is right now. As we face the potential loss of sustaining funding from the NEA, we ask you, our fellow arts advocates, to make a generous donation in support of our work.