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  Press Release


Maggie Morth
Communications Manager
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2415

Julie Sponsler
Director of Operations and Administration
Grantmakers in the Arts
(206) 624-2312

Growth in Foundation Funding for Arts Education
Surpasses the Arts Overall

New York, N.Y., October 3, 2005—The first in-depth study on foundation funding for arts education finds that giving in this area grew faster than arts giving overall between 1999 and 2003. In the latter year, programs serving children and youth received over 40 percent of the $208.8 million given for arts education by the largest U.S. foundations. According to Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Overview of Recent Trends, arts education funding nonetheless targets all age groups and a wide range of purposes—from incorporating the arts into school curriculum, to expanding arts education facilities, to supporting the education of emerging artists, to advancing programs that foster a life-long appreciation of the arts for all age groups. Released jointly by the Foundation Center and Grantmakers in the Arts, the report was funded by The Wallace Foundation.

"Arts education is a growing area of funder interest," noted Loren Renz, vice president for research at the Foundation Center. "In recent years, as public funding of arts education has declined, foundation giving for arts education has grown."

The number of organizations benefiting from arts education support jumped by one-quarter between 1999 and 2003, from roughly 1,400 to 1,800. The vast majority of grant dollars (79.3 percent) and grants (78.3 percent) targeted arts and arts education organizations, with remaining grants going to elementary and secondary schools, general-purpose higher educational institutions, youth development groups, and various community organizations.

Foundation Funding for Arts Education examines foundation support for arts education in 2003 and changes since 1999. The study is based on an analysis of the Foundation Center's grants database, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded by just over 1,000 of the nation's largest private and community foundations. For 2003, 549 funders made 3,136 grants that benefited arts education. The report shows how these grants are distributed by subject, target group, recipient type, geographic focus, and type of support. It also includes brief profiles of leading arts education grantmakers across the country, which demonstrate the wide variety of strategies employed by these funders to strengthen arts education.

Arts Education Funding Resources

Foundation Funding for Arts Education can be accessed at no charge from the "Researching Philanthropy" area of the Foundation Center's Web site, Publication of the report comes during Funding for Arts Month, a Foundation Center-wide initiative spanning the month of October that features a range of special programs, new resources, and Web site content targeted to nonprofit organizations working in the arts.


The Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the nonprofit sector by advancing knowledge about U.S. philanthropy. To achieve its mission, it collects, organizes, and communicates information on U.S. philanthropy; conducts and facilitates research on trends in the field; provides education and training on the grantseeking process; and ensures public access to information and services through its Web site, print and electronic publications, five library/learning centers, and a national network of Cooperating Collections. Founded in 1956, the Center is the nationís leading authority on philanthropy and is dedicated to serving grantseekers, grantmakers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public.


Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) is a membership organization whose trade is discourse on ideas about arts philanthropy within a diverse community of grantmakers. Founded in 1985, GIA maintains a lightweight infrastructure that supports its members' work together. Members include private, community, corporate, and family foundations, as well as public sector grantmakers, regranting organizations whose primary purpose is arts grantmaking, and individual donors who give through eligible organizations. GIA programs include an annual conference, a major periodical, research, and other convening and communication services.


The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school learning opportunities; and expanding participation in arts and culture. More information and research on these and other related topics can be found at, or by calling 212-251-9783.

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