Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (09/24/1997)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities

Act of 1965

Title II: Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act

Arts and Humanities Amendments of 1997 - Title I: National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 - Amends the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965 to revise and reauthorize provisions for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

(Sec. 101) Prohibits the use of grants awarded under such Act for lobbying or providing general membership services for groups.

Establishes a single Office of the Inspector General for both the NEA and the NEH.

Requires the NEA and NEH Chairpersons to jointly conduct, or contract for, a study, and report to the appropriate committees of Congress, on the feasibility of establishing a true endowment for the NEA and the NEH to provide supplemental funding to support their efforts. Requires examination of innovative methods through which a true endowment may be funded, including private fundraising, an extension of a copyright term, recapture of funds from past grants that have proven profitable, or any other innovative methods the Chairpersons determine appropriate.

Provides for NEA and NEH solicitation, acceptance, and investment of donations, bequests, and devises. Permits use of a certain amount of the proceeds for reception and representation expenses. Limits administrative expenditures by NEA and NEH.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for the NEA and the NEH through FY 2002.

Provides for a program of NEA partnership grants to States and regional groups for 50 percent (with certain discretionary increases) of the costs of supporting arts activities, with emphasis on arts education and projects that reach rural and urban underserved communities.

Provides for a program of NEA national significance grants to groups of demonstrated and substantial artistic and cultural importance for projects, productions, and workshops to increase the access of all the people to the best of U.S. arts and culture (with a 25 percent Federal match, or 16.67 percent in the case of groups with certain larger annual budgets, and with certain discretionary increases of such match). Gives priority to projects, productions, and workshops that increase public access to the arts, especially for underserved communities (including access by touring, by regional or national dissemination, or by geographic dispersion).

Provides for a program of NEA direct grants to groups and individuals that are broadly representative of the U.S. cultural heritage and broadly geographically representative, for projects, productions, and workshops of high artistic excellence and merit (with a 50 percent Federal match, and certain discretionary increases of such match). Gives priority to: (1) projects, productions, and workshops that will be disseminated widely after completion; and (2) those concerning arts education.

Authorizes the NEA Chairperson to make arts education and underserved communities grants to States, arts agencies, or other local or regional groups to promote access to the arts through support of specified activities for education, for expansion and advancement of the arts, and for assisting developing arts organizations in underserved communities (with a 50 percent Federal match, and certain discretionary increases of such match).

Revises requirements for advisory panels which review and make recommendations on grant applications.

Reduces the number of members of the National Council on the Arts.

Sets forth limitations on NEA grants. Prohibits subgrants, except by State or regional groups, to any other organization or individual to conduct activities independent of the direct grant recipient.

Revises NEA administrative provisions and those for reports, sanctions, and payments. Requires recipients of funding to repay certain amounts if they have derived net program income from the funded activities exceeding a specified amount. Continues provisions for the National Medal of Arts.

Provides for NEH partnership grants to support programs of humanities councils at the State and local levels (with a maximum 50 percent Federal match, and certain discretionary increases of such match).

Provides for NEH national grants to groups, individuals, and State agencies or entities for specified activities relating to education and the public humanities that have a national audience and significance (with a Federal share to be determined by the NEH Chairperson; or a maximum 25 percent Federal share in the case of development of new sources of long-term support).

Provides for NEH research and scholarship grants to groups, individuals, and State agencies and entities (with a Federal share to be determined by the NEH Chairperson). Provides for review panels.

Reduces the number of members of the National Council on the humanities. Revises limitations on NEH grants.

Revises NEH administrative provisions and those for reports, sanctions, and payments. Requires recipients of funding to repay certain amounts if they have derived net program income from the funded activities exceeding a specified amount.

Continues provisions for the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities Award. Eliminates authority for the Charles Frankel Prize.

Authorizes the President to award a National Humanities Medal to individuals or groups.

Repeals authorization for a grant program to support artistic and cultural programs in the Nation's Capital.

(Sec. 102) Makes conforming amendments to the Inspector General Act of 1978.

Title II: Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act - Amends the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act to re-establish the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities as an independent Federal agency.

(Sec. 201) Makes eligible for loss or damage indemnity agreement coverage parts of an exhibition that originates either in the United States or outside the United States and that is touring the United States (thus extending coverage to domestic as well as foreign exhibitions).

Revises Council functions to eliminate: (1) specified current advise and consult duties; (2) the mandate to plan and coordinate participation in major and historic national events; and (3) the mandate for studies and reports on the state of the arts and humanities, particularly their economic needs and problems.