Arts Funding Falling Again
LANSING — The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is expected to get $131.3 million from Congress when the new fiscal year starts next month, up by $10 million from this year and the most the agency has received since it was awarded $162 million in 1995.
A larger NEA award usually means its grants to state arts and cultural organizations also are bigger. But whether the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) will actually receive a larger NEA grant won’t be known for a while because the awards the NEA makes to states lag a year. NEA funding coming from the 2006 federal budget, which should go into effect in three weeks, won’t reach the MCACA until fiscal year 2007.
“We would expect an increase in ’07,” said William Anderson, director of the state Department of History, Arts and Libraries, which houses MCACA.
“We already know what ’06 is going to be, and that is a little less.”
Congress gave the NEA $121.3 million last year and MCACA received $650,745 from the agency for FY06, a figure that was $26,000 less than the state organization was awarded the previous year. In all, the NEA provided grants worth $1.25 million to MCACA and various arts and cultural groups across the state for 2006. But that amount was well under the $1.57 million that
“The money that we get from the NEA is used to support various arts and cultural programs,” said
The council does the same with state funds. For this fiscal year,
Whatever the amount,
“We’re anticipating a further reduction. Obviously, we’re hoping it won’t be that severe. A couple of years ago we took a 50-percent reduction,” he said.
In FY02, state funding to MCACA was $23.6 million. To fall from that figure to, say, the $8.8 million the Senate has allocated would result in arts funding plunging by 63 percent in just four years and tumbling roughly $3 million just from this year to next year.
“I think that traditional arts funding is going to be under siege and I think the best future for us is to think about how we are using our financial resources, in terms of impacting the economy. So our department is clearly moving in that direction of how the arts and culture affect the economy,” said
“It’s right at the top of our agenda,” said
The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and a multitude of arts groups in the state have received $5.75 million in grants the past four years from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Of that total, nearly $2.67 million went directly to MCACA for grant distribution to arts and cultural organizations through its partnership program.
The following chart lists the total NEA funding, how much went to MCACA, how much went to state arts and cultural groups, and how much the state received from the NEA for fiscal years 2002 to 2005.
|Award Year||Total NEA Funding||MCACA Funding||Arts Groups Funding||Total State NEA Funds|
Note: Grants from an award year get applied to the following fiscal year.
Source: National Endowment for the Arts, August 2005
Local performing arts organizations received a dozen grants from the state this fiscal year that were worth a total of $443,000. Seven more state grants were awarded to local cultural groups and those were worth $363,200. Overall, arts and cultural entities in
The following charts list the performing arts groups that received state grants, how many, and what the grants were worth.
Number of Grants
|Actors’ Theatre Company||$17,200|
|Arts Council of Greater GR||$87,900|
|Community Circle Theatre||$35,000|
|Grand Rapids Ballet Company||$17,900|
|Grand Rapids Civic Theatre||$23,500|
|Grand Rapids Symphony||$185,000|
|North American Choral Co.||$15,900|
|St. Cecilia Music Society||$21,700|
|Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts||$15,000|