The Playgoer: Arts Advocacy Orgs Merge

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arts Advocacy Orgs Merge

The indispensable Americans for the Arts have just announced a merger with the Business Committee for the Arts. Together they will form what Crain's calls "the largest such group [arts advocacy] in the private sector."

I guess that's somewhat reassuring, going into a Recession.

Still, check out this stat referenced in the announcement:

“The private sector’s relationship with the arts has shifted dramatically in recent years,” said Robert Lynch, chief executive of Americans for the Arts. “Despite recent modest gains in overall giving, the market share of private funding for the arts is nearly one-third less than it was in the early 1990s....”
Remember when those NEA cuts started way back when and the justification was that the private sector would pick up the tab?

And when did those cuts start? The early 1990s.

2 comments:

isaac butler said...

When the NEA's budget was slashed,I actually wrote a paper on the history/nature of the NEA for my high school poli sci class. And the folks at the NEA who I talked to (and in other arts advocacy organizations) were like "look at the statistics historically. when NEA funding goes up, corporate giving goes up, now that these cuts are happening, it will go down"

I'm sad they were right.

Let me add real quick that one of the reasons why this is the case is that much of the NEA's funding is done in matching or challenge grants which encourage private investment.

RLewis said...

I attend a fundraising seminar last week by Americans for the Arts/Arts and Biz Council - it was the absolute worst waste of my time ever (and i've been to a lot of these type thingys). I hope this merger improves their programs, since they receive govt' funding - how can we hold our own accountable?