The Republican Candidates on Support (or Lack Thereof) for the Arts

by Meghna Kumar

The upcoming 2016 presidential election has already caught the attention of the American public with this election’s flamboyant candidates. Major news networks such as CNN and CNBC have already televised debates between the candidates vying for the Democratic and Republican nominations for the impending election. A highly contested subject that has recently come to light is funding for the arts and arts education. Let’s take a look at the previous actions taken by a few of the Republican candidates in regards to the arts and finding for the arts.

Donald Trump: Trump has donated over $400,000 to arts programs and even claims that he considered attending film school prior to choosing his career in real estate.

Bobby Jindal: During his time as governor of Louisiana, Jindal cut spending on arts education by over 80% in 2009. UPDATE: Jindal has suspended his campaign as of November 17 and is no longer running for president.

Jeb Bush: As governor of Florida, Bush implemented the Florida Sunshine State Standards, which funded programs in dance, music, theatre, and other visual arts.

Ted Cruz: Cruz has avidly worked against federal  aid for arts programs, going as far as stating, “We need to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Carly Fiorina: Fiorina engendered the One Woman Initiative to fund female entrepreneurs in developing countries by providing them with micro-loans to start their own businesses.

Rand Paul: Openly stating that the arts are an example of the “wasteful spending throughout the U.S. government,” Paul has made his anti-arts-funding position clear.

More information can be found on the Americans for the Arts website at


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