Arts Funding: Top 2% Get Lion’s Share

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy just issued its report on arts funding in America, and the results, while not surprising, make stark comment on who gets money and what it means.

Fifty-five percent of grants go to organizations with budgets greater than $5 million, which represent less than 2% of the 100,000+ arts and culture nonprofits in the US. The primary audience of these large institutions is predominantly white and upper-income. Arts funding has an issue.

While the purpose of the arts, and creative culture in general, is to broaden democratic engagement and give common experiences to all citizens, according to the report, the greater a funder’s commitment to arts and culture, the less likely it is to prioritize underserved communities or advance social justice through its grant-making. In other words, from a money perspective, greater interest in the arts equals less interest in the culture at large.

That’s not good for any of us, and certainly not for arts funding.

You can get the full report here.

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