WASHINGTON — President Reagan plans to propose an 11.7% budget cutback for the National Endowment for the Arts, with programs supporting opera, music and dance absorbing most of the reductions, it was announced today.
White House House spokesman Larry Speakes confirmed a report in the New York Times that Reagan will request $144.5 million for the arts agency in fiscal 1986, about $500,000 more than he sought for the current fiscal year but down from the $163.7 million appropriated by Congress.
"I don't look for any change" in the plan, Speakes said.
The program for opera and musical theater would be cut by 18.3%, to $4.9 million, while the music program would be cut 15%, to $13 million, and dance would be cut 13.5%, to $7.7 million.
Pell Opposes Cuts Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.), who helped write the legislation that created the endowment as an independent federal agency in 1965, said he will oppose any such cuts as threatening "a financial crisis for many, if not most, of our nation's cultural institutions."