Rockford Area Arts Council warns of elimination of federal funding for Arts Endowment

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A program that brings music to our schools, art and dance to those mostly living in poverty, faces elimination in a federal budget proposal.

All $148 million for the National Endowment for the Arts would go away and some say that will leave a hole in our community.

"In terms of the leverage those dollars give, it's nine times that amount of actual programing because when you get a grant from the NEA then you also get local support to fund that, they don't fund the entire thing," Sharon Nesbit-Davis, Executive Director of the Rockford Area Arts Council, said.

The Rockford Area Arts Council gets those grants from the NEA. This year it’s giving out at least 20 grants for things like music in the park and restarting an instrumental music program at Froberg Elementary School.

Some of that money also goes to Rockford Housing Authority residents to help them grow their artistic talents and become entrepreneurs.

The Arts Council serves a four county area and says most of those grants go to the underserved or people in poverty.