$35,000 of Stimulus Money for Indian Basket Weavers

By Matt Cover | February 17, 2012 | 5:45pm EST

Woven baskets. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – As part of the Obama administration’s economic stimulus plan, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gave a $35,000 grant to the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance to support apprentice basket weavers and help fund the Maine Indian Basketmakers Festival.

The funding, from President Barack Obama’s $787-billion stimulus spending bill launched in February 2009, was intended to “support the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and the Maine Indian Basketmakers Gathering/Festival.

The project was designed to support basketmakers and apprentices in traditional ash and sweetgrass basketry of Maine's Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes,” according to the NEA’s stimulus grant website.

In promoting the economic stimulus bill, Obama and congressional Demcorats claimed that the nearly $1-trillion in taxpayer funds spent would rescue the ailing economy and spur private sector growth and job creation. Currently, unemployment is at 8.3 percent,  the same level it was at when Obama signed the stimulus three years ago.

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