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The Dairy Barn Arts Center. (FILE)

Trump's program cuts would impact the Dairy Barn and other Athens institutions

Correction appended. 

Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which would be eliminated under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, represents a small fraction of the federal budget.

But for the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, the almost $30,000 in funding they received last year from the National Endowment for the Arts proves invaluable.

"(The cuts) will especially affect rural communities because we don't have the foundational support that urban communities have," Jane Forrest Redfern, the executive director for the Dairy Barn Arts Center, said. 

The Dairy Barn received a $10,000 grant for an artist in residence and a $20,000 grant from the Ohio Arts Council, both coming from National Endowment for the Arts grants. 

"(Cleveland and Columbus) have all of these various corporations that would be able to help with funding," Redfern said. "We have fewer places where we can make up the difference. It takes special program money and general support funds to do what we do."

To offset a $54 billion defense spending increase, Trump has called for reduced funding for numerous federal programs and the elimination of funding to 19 independent agencies. Along with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated. The programs had a combined budget of just under $300 million in 2016.

In addition to funding artistic projects, they provide much of the programming on public broadcasting networks like WOUB. WOUB receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, another agency that is slated for elimination.

"Beginning with proven children’s educational content to providing essential news and information as well as ensuring public safety and homeland security through emergency alerts, this vital investment strengthens our communities," Patricia Harrison, the president and CEO of the CPB, said in a statement earlier this month. "It is especially critical for those living in small towns and in rural and underserved areas." 

Another program slated for elimination that would affect Athens is the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

"We do a competitive grant program through the IMLS," Missy Lodge, Ohio's associate state librarian, said. "Ohio University received $46,208 from the grant to do an assessment of their off-site catalog."

Lodge said Ohio received $5 million in grant money from the IMLS last year, a small chunk of the Institute's $237 million budget.

"What the funding cut would mean for us is a shutdown of a lot of our programs," Lodge said. "Our search databases would no longer be available, and if you get e-books at the library in Athens, that would be severely curtailed."

While Trump only wants to eliminate 19 agencies, there will be big spending cuts elsewhere — like a $5.8 billion slash to the National Institutes of Health, a medical research agency that provided Ohio with $702 million in funding in 2015, including $2.5 million grant for a lower back pain study at OU.

Ultimately, almost every federal agency other than Defense, Homeland Security and Veteran's Affairs will see a cut under Trump's budget. But some of those cuts might be lessened or removed before the final budget is passed through Congress.

"Budgets change from administration to administration," Leslie Schaller of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, a local business incubator funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, said. "I've been at this job for over 35 years, and it's not atypical to see shifts in budget priorities. We'll see. It's still early in the budget conversation."


Correction: A previous version of this article misstated which agency would be eliminated under Trump's budget proposal. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.  

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