Chair McCollum Statement at Hearing on FY 2021 National Gallery of Art Budget Request
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget request for the National Gallery of Art:
Good morning, it is my great pleasure to welcome Kaywin Feldman, the Director of the National Gallery of Art to her first hearing with this Subcommittee. We are very happy to have you here and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Gallery as you finish your first year as the fifth Director.
On a personal note, I want to say how pleased I am to have you guiding the Gallery, because I have seen the wonderful work you did at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minnesota. Your experience building engagement with artists and visitors from minority communities and underrepresented populations will be a tremendous benefit to the Gallery.
As you well know, just embracing the ideals of diversity, inclusion, and empathy isn’t enough—it takes dedicated work to make them part of a museum’s culture, and I look forward to seeing that work flourish under your leadership.
Our hearing today will address the President’s 2021 budget request for the National Gallery of Art. The administration’s budget proposes to reduce the Gallery’s renovation budget by $11.8 million or 7 percent, delaying critical repairs and putting the safety of visitors and the collection at risk. Last year, Congress rejected a similar proposal and instead increased renovation funding by $2 million and the Gallery by $4.8 million overall.
Since its opening in 1941, the Gallery has provided Americans access to world-class art in both the exceptional setting of the campus here in D.C. and through the loan of art to museums throughout the country. This Subcommittee understands the importance of your mission and intends to support it. Today, I look forward to hearing your vision for the Gallery and your thoughts on improving its reach throughout the nation.
I would now like to yield to our Ranking Member, Mr. Joyce, for his opening remarks.