Dear [Member of Congress],

[As your constituent and] as a musician, union member, teacher, and middle-class income earner; I want to thank you for the work you did to bring H.R. 1625 to the President’s desk.

Among the many agencies that will now officially receive federal funding for the rest of 2018, I would like to especially express my gratitude for the $152.8M you’ve appropriated to the National Endowment for the Arts. This is almost $3M more than you had previously legislated. With this increase, you’ve demonstrated a genuine commitment not just to the excellence every art-form, but also to the impact that the Arts have on our country.

NEA grants have given communities in every single congressional district something to celebrate. Grants have:

  • Connected many with their heritage, countries of origin, and anything else that contributes to their identity.
  • Given people the opportunity to express themselves, regardless of their possible perceived limitations.
  • Brought positive activities to children, regardless of their level of access to financial resources.
  • Provided employment opportunities for 3.48 million Americans.
  • Enabled Arts and Culture Production to account for 4.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. At $730B, that is a bigger impact to the U.S. Economy than Transportation, Tourism, or Construction.
  • Contributed to the healing of 85% of military patients through the NEA Military Healing Arts Network.

Your legislation acknowledges that the Arts aren’t just important to all of us; they are vital. They serve Mental Health. Veterans. Education. Childhood Development. The Economy. Curbing Unemployment. Diversity. Affirming people for who they really are. The ability for us to express ourselves and bring beauty to our country in a time when many are afraid, concerned for the future, or downright depressed.

I am in complete admiration of and appreciativeness for the action you have taken, [Member of Congress].  As you move onwards towards the appropriations of the 2019 Congressional Budget, it is my hope that you continue to honor the National Endowment for Arts–as well as every other Arts and Humanities agency that your authority reaches.

This legislation will forever be a part of your legacy. I thank you for your time, your work, and your public service.

Your Constituent/Fellow American,
Douglas Rosenthal

A watercolor painting of a frog saying "Thank You". There is a wooden well to the left with a wooden bucket dangling by light brown yarn. "Thank You" in cursive is written in light brown in front of a blue sky. The green frog is at the center. It is mid-air with its arms open and a smile on its face. It is green and hovering over green grass and flowers than are white and yellow. On the right side in the back, there are red and green shrubs.

About Doug Rosenthal

No one told Douglas Rosenthal to give up playing music. Not even his patient siblings, who endured many early-morning practice sessions; even they encouraged their brother to follow his passion. As the years passed, that passion evolved from simply playing music to advocating for music, musicians, and music-lovers. Douglas is based in Washington, DC. He is the Assistant Principal Trombonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra. He currently makes his home on Capitol Hill in DC with a pug named Jake, who serves as a constant reminder to relax, eat well, and sleep plentifully.

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