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In Face of NEA Cuts, Small Presses Worry About Their Futures

Friday, March 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
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By Jason Boog (for Publishers Weekly) --

With the arrival this week of President Donald Trump’s first budget plan, a number of members in the arts community have become deeply concerned about the proposal to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The elimination of the NEA could have a severe trickle-down effect in the small press world, as many indie publishers depend on funding from the organization to stay afloat.

The NEA, which had a budget of nearly $148 million last year, supports arts participation in American communities. It also supports numerous small publishers throughout the country.

One group particularly worried about Trump's budget proposal is the Berkeley, Calif.-based Small Press Distribution (SPD), which serves more than 400 small publishers. The nonprofit literary distributor was founded in 1969 by bookseller Peter Howard and bookseller/editor/publisher Jack Shoemaker.

SPD has received $1,198,000 in grant funds from the National Endowment for the Arts since 1998—funds that support all the publishers served by the distributor. The group's executive director, Jeffrey Lependorf, said the NEA cuts would have a dramatic ripple effect on independent publishing....


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