This may be the first we've heard of the Trump team's possible definite action against the arts, but it's not surprising. According to The Independent, President Trump "is believed to be planning on shutting down arts and heritage programs as part of a raft of budget-tightening measures."
The first programs to go, according to a report from Trump's transition team, are the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Trump also plans to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds both NPR and PBS.
Both NPR and PBS receive around $445.5 million a year in government donations, "around half of which goes to the US’ approx. 350 public television stations."
Trump is not the first president to threaten the shutdown of the arts. President Reagan wanted to go through with the movement but was "ultimately dissuaded" by other members of his party.
A White House petition against these budget cuts has been put up on their "We the People" service and is currently making its way across the internet. While hundreds of people have tweeted out their support and proud signing of the petition, very few are being counted.
Either the petition is rigged or something fishy is going on. Possibly both.
Users have reported being sent to an error page when they click on the petition's URL. The "report issues" page is also down for the count, with no sign of being fixed.
“The Arts and Humanities are a vital part of our cultural identity and enhance the quality of our lives,” the petition reads.
“They connect us to the past, they speak to us in the present, and they are our legacy, our gift to the future.
“Investing in them is never a waste, and I strongly urge that both the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities continue to receive federal funding.”
At last count, the petition page has 42/100,000 signatures counted.