Catholic League Notifies House Subcommittee of Potential NEA Funding Violations

Craig Bannister | January 25, 2018 | 5:15pm EST
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Catholic League Pres. Bill Donohue

Catholic League President Bill Donohue notified the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Thursday that he is informing a House subcommittee of potential guideline violations by the NEA.

In a letter sent to NEA Chair Dr. Jane Chu condemning NEA’s funding of a production company, The New Group, that is staging “the most obscene anti-Christian play ever performed,” Donohue writes:

“The nexus between NEA and the New Group is more than disturbing: it is so incestuous that it is in violation of NEA’s own strictures. In 2009, the NEA gave the New Group $50,000, ‘To support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.’

“Yet under NEA guidelines, ‘General operating or seasonal support’ is explicitly prohibited.”

"I am bringing this to the attention of the [House] Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies."

Donohue closes by asking Chu to respond to his two charges:

  1. The impropriety of funding a group that hosts anti-Christian plays, such as the New Group’s off-Broadway production of “Jerry Springer: The Opera” and
  2. NEA’s donation of funding to the operating expenses of the New Group.

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