In Monday’s (2/16) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes about how “arts-friendly members of the House and Senate struggled to preserve $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the final version of the recovery package, approved by both houses on Friday. There was a whiplash quality to the action surrounding the arts money. As the week wore on, things weren’t looking good. Although a House version of the bill had included the $50 million, the Senate version approved no arts money at all. The Senate even voted 73 to 24 on Feb. 6 for an amendment ruling out stimulus money for museums, arts centers and theaters. … The challenge for culture boosters in Congress was to convince a House-Senate conference committee that the arts provide jobs as other industries do, while also encouraging tourism and spending in general. … As the details of the final bill were being hammered out, tens of thousands of arts advocates around the country were calling and e-mailing legislators. Arts groups also organized an advertising blitz arguing that culture contributes 6 million jobs and $30 billion in tax revenue and $166 billion in annual economic impact. The tide turned. In addition to preserving the $50 million allocation, the final bill eliminated part of the Senate amendment that would have excluded museums, theaters and arts centers from any recovery money.”