Funding for arts education strong

Funding for arts education grew 24 percent to $167.9 million between 1999 and 2003, outpacing support for arts funding overall, a new report says.

The Foundation Center, based in New York, and Grantmakers in the Arts, based in Seattle, produced “Foundation Funding for Arts Education,” a study of more than 100,000 grants of $10,000 or more from over 1,000 of the country’s largest foundations.

Because of the high growth rate, arts education funding now makes up almost 12 percent of total arts funding by foundations, reaching a high of $245 million in 2002, then dropping 15 percent in 2003.

There were 549 arts education funders in 2003, down from about 580 in 2001 and 2002, the report says.

The single-largest funder of arts education in 2003 was the Kresge Foundation, which awarded nine capital grants totaling $9.4 million, the report says, followed by the Annenberg Foundation, which awarded 29 grants worth $9.2 million.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation directed the largest share of its funding, more than six in 10 grant dollars, to arts education, and the Colburn Foundation allocated almost half its funding to the field.

Independent foundations awarded eight in 10 dollars of funding provided to arts education in 2003, followed by corporate foundations, which supplied more than one in 10 dollars, the report says.

Almost half the grants made to arts education groups were less than $25,000, and the subcategory of performing arts education garnered more than half of all funding in the field.

Arts groups were the primary beneficiaries of arts education grants, receiving almost eight in 10 dollars awarded, the report says, followed by general-purpose educational institutions, such as elementary and secondary schools, which received 17.5 percent of funding.

More than four in 10 funding dollars went to children and youth in 2003 and almost one in 10 grant dollars were targeted to ethnic or racial minorities.

Foundations in the Northeast accounted for almost half of arts education funding in 2003, the report says, with the South coming in last, providing just over one in 10 grant dollars.

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