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Art museum directors speak out in support of cultural agencies targeted for elimination

John McLaughlin retrospective at LACMA in November 2016. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
John McLaughlin retrospective at LACMA in November 2016. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

The Assn. of Art Museum Directors spoke out Thursday against the proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services, as outlined in the Trump administration's newly released budget blueprint. 

"The arts are a shared expression of the human spirit and a hallmark of our humanity. Art touches people throughout their lives — from toddlers first learning about the world, to those with Alzheimer’s disease reconnecting with someone they love," the museum directors group said in a statement.

"Museums offer art programs to help teachers and homeschoolers prepare lessons, to train medical students to be better doctors, to ease the suffering of veterans with PTSD, and to share with people across the country the best of creative achievement."

Though association members receive only a small fraction of their funding from the federal government, the national organization called the NEA, NEH and IMLS "essential partners" in art museums' work.

"These organizations, like all arts institutions, are catalysts for employment and increase the quality of life in their communities. AAMD urges the Congress, where there has been strong bipartisan support for the NEA, NEH, and IMLS, to continue funding these agencies, which play such an important role in our vibrant democracy," the statement read.

In Southern California, museums affiliated with the AAMD include: 

  • Hammer Museum in Los Angeles
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in Santa Monica
  • J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles
  • Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla
  • Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach
  • Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs
  • San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Santa Barbara
  • The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles

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