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Joseph Lewis
By Joseph Lewis February 17, 2009

Obama signs stimulus bill with NEA funding

When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he restored the National Endowment for the Arts' funding to its highest level since 1992.

Under the bill, $50 million will be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects and activities. According to the text of the bill, the allocation will be used to "preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector" and compensate for diminished philanthropic support caused by the economic downturn.

Forty percent of the funds will be given to state arts agencies and regional organizations, while the remaining 60 percent will go directly toward "competitively selected arts projects and activities."

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA is the nation's largest annual contributor to the arts.

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