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Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Overview of Recent Trends

January 11, 200611 January 2006

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Based on the Foundation Center’s database of all of the grants of $10,000 or more awarded by 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations (representing about one-half of total U.S. foundation grants), this report “examines the distribution of arts education funding in 2003 and changes in giving since 1999”. Foundation grants for arts education (in the database) totalled $209 million, a 24% increase since 1999. The 24% increase matched the increase in overall foundation giving but exceeded the 15% increase in overall arts funding during the same period. The increase over the full 1999-2003 period includes a strong increase in funding between 1999 and 2002 and a 15% decrease in funding between 2002 and 2003.

The statistics by discipline show the dominance of performing arts education (53% of all funding), followed by multidisciplinary arts education (24%), visual arts education (16%), museum education (5%), literary arts education (2%) and other arts education (1%). Performing arts education saw a large increase in funding between 1999 and 2003, with other areas experiencing decreases or small increases.

On average, arts education grants tend to be smaller than other foundation grants, in part because project-based grants are much more common than operating or capital support. Among the arts organizations receiving grants, the Julliard School received the largest number and highest amount of grants (5% of all arts education grant dollars, or $9.8 million).

The report also outlines funding by type of foundation and lists the top 25 foundations that contribute to arts education.

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