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Arts funding surges

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Already strong patrons of the arts and culture, U.S. foundations more than doubled their support for arts, culture, media and the humanities to an estimated $3.69 billion in 2000 from $1.83 billion in 1996, a new study says.

Thanks to a strong economy and stock market through the first half of 2000, and the creation of new foundations, that increase – adjusted for inflation – climbed 83 percent during the period, says the study by The Foundation Center.

While individuals still contributed the biggest share of support for the arts, grants from foundations represented 35 percent of the total in 1998, up from less than 30 percent in 1995, the study says.

Overall, private giving to the arts totaled $7.66 billion in 1998, accounting for 40 percent of the $19.4 billion in annual revenue for arts and culture organizations, up from 37 percent in 1995.

The share of private giving provided by foundations alone grew to one-seventh in 1998 from one-ninth in 1995.

Among the 1,000 biggest foundations, support for the arts fell to 12 percent to 13 percent of total grants in 2000, down from 13 percent to 15 percent in 1996, but remained above 15 percent among smaller foundations.

The Ford Foundation gave $80.3 million for arts and culture in 2000, more than any other foundation, compared to $19.4 million it gave in the mid-1990s, when it ranked eighth.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation trailed only Ford, giving $57.4 million, nearly three times what it gave in 1996.

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