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Arts Funding Snapshot

GIA’s Annual Research on Support for Arts and Culture

July 30, 201430 July 2014

Government spending on culture / Donors / Arts funding and finances

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These brief articles highlight government support for the arts in 2013 and foundation support for the arts and culture in 2011 in the United States. The public funding article focusses on support for the arts, not broader elements of culture (which are included in the foundation article). As such, the two articles should not be directly compared.

The article on public funding indicates that total government funding for the arts in the U.S. was estimated at $1.14 billion in 2013. Local governments provided the most support for the arts (over $700 million, although exact figures by level of government were not provided in the article). State legislatures appropriated nearly $300 million for the arts, and the federal appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts was under $140 million in 2013. Total government funding for the arts decreased by 30% after inflation between 1992 and 2013.

Based on a sample of 1,122 larger foundations in the U.S., the article on foundation funding estimated arts and culture funding to be 10% of foundation funding for all fields of giving. Health (29%), education (22%), and human services (15%) received the largest shares of foundation support. (Because the sample does not include all foundations, the article estimates that total foundation funding for the arts and culture might be double the reported level of $2.3 billion in 2011. Other areas of giving would be similarly underestimated in the sample.)

Foundation giving to the performing arts represented the largest share of total support for the arts and culture in 2011 (37%), followed by museums (28%), media and communications (11%), multidisciplinary arts (including arts education, 9%), humanities (5%), historic preservation (5%), visual arts and architecture (4%), and other areas of the arts and culture (2%).

Between 2010 and 2011, there was a 0.5% increase in foundation support for the arts and culture. This is lower than the increase in eight of ten other areas of giving. Only science and technology saw a decrease in foundation giving between 2010 and 2011 (-6.5%).

The article also provides an examination of foundation grants by type of support and by size as well as a list of the top foundation funders of the arts and culture in the U.S.

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