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April 26, 2012

NEA Slashes Grants for PBS Shows and Gives More to New Media

National Endowment for the Arts grants announced Wednesday included sweeping cuts for PBS arts, news, and nonfiction film programs, according to The New York Times.

The federal agency eliminated funding for "Live From Lincoln Center," which received $100,000 in 2011, and awarded $50,000 each to "Great Performances," "Great Performances at the Met," "American Masters," and the documentary series "POV" and "Independent Lens," which got a combined $1.37-million last year.

Grants for the NEA Arts in Media program made significant grants for the first time this year to gaming, mobile, and online projects. From among 329 eligible applications—more than double last year's total—the agency made 78 grants worth $3.55 million.

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said she understood the agency's need to balance traditional and new media but said the program cuts were "disappointing" and will have a major impact on the network's efforts to "bring arts to every home across the country."