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Arts Funding Update

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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Given the stock market slide since 2000, some aspects of this report, based on the arts granting activity of over 1,000 American foundations, may have been obsolete as soon as the


Center printed the report. The report finds record increases of 16.3% per year in foundation arts granting between 1996 and 2000. The question in 2002 is whether foundations will significantly decrease their arts grants.

Despite the recent stock market downturn, the report’s analysis of arts support is still quite interesting. For instance, the report shows that 38% of foundation support went towards specific projects, while 32% was allocated to capital spending and 22% to operating support. In 2000, foundations gave both more and larger arts grants than in 1996. However, support for the arts as a share of overall funding has decreased slightly since the 1980s.

The report cites data showing that private support represents about 40% of US arts and culture organizations’ revenues, with individuals remaining “by far the largest source of private contributions”, followed by foundations and then corporations.

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