The Senate Appropriations Sub-committee on the District of Columbia yesterday voted to restore $236,500 that had been cut by the House from the budget for the D.C. Commission on the Arts.
That brings the D.C. Commission's budget back up to the $593,000 Mayor Marion Barry originally had requested.
But at the Arts and Humanities Endowments, there was less enthusiasm: Both suffered cuts in their proposed budgets at the hands of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which met yesterday. (The full Appropriations Committee meets today.)
The National Endowment for the Arts' budget was cut by about $4 million and the National Endowment for the Humanities by a little under $1 million.
It is unlikely that the Appropriations Committee will restore any budget funds for either endowment. But "We're going to try to get the funds back," said a staffer in the office of Rep. Sidney Yates (D-III), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which had earlier approved the higher budget amounts. (Any differences in Senate and House bills will have to be discussed in conference session.)
The Arts Endowment cut was called a "blow" by some NEA officials.
"I was disappointed," said Livingston Biddle, chairman of the NEA. "The most disturbing element is the loss of forward progress. I consider the NEA the chief catalyst of giving to the arts by other institutions. Any diminution (of federal support) could be a signal to the others and an end of forward progress."
NEA's request to Congress had been $160 million for the upcoming fiscal year 1981. For the past fiscal year, it had been granted $154.4 million.
The funds cut form NEH had been allocated for moving to the Old Post Office Building and buying new furniture for the building. NEH officials had testfied in subcommittee hearings that the renovation was necessary. The subcommittee had questioned the use of such funds for furniture.