Government funding for the arts

In a news release Aug. 7, the Rand Corp. announced its publication of a study on how state arts agencies (SAAs) can increase government support for the arts. It is the second in a series commissioned by the Wallace Foundation on SAAs.

For its report, Rand did case studies on the Montana Arts Council and the Maine Arts Commission.
They are both small, independent agencies in rural states having no tradition of substantive government support for the arts. Nonetheless, they illustrate an evolution in thinking about mission, capacity and especially relations with elected officials that is taking place in SAAs across the country. Both agencies have knocked down barriers between the arts world and the political world. In doing so, they appear not only to have stabilized their budgets, but also to have strengthened their legitimacy with government officials and the public.

For government funding among the 50 states, Hawaii fares relatively well, according to the study. In share of SAA legislative appropriations in state general fund expenditures for 2005, Hawaii was one of five states that ranked in the highest percentage (.080 to 1.00). In total revenue per capita to SAAs in 2005, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) received the most, at $5.28. The state's apparent good fortune may be attributed to a special funding. From the HSFCA website:
In 1967, the State Legislature enacted the Art in State Buildings Law that established the Art in Public Places Program within the HSFCA, the first such program in the nation. A separate method of funding for this program was created through accessing one percent of the construction cost of new state buildings, making Hawai`i the first state in the nation to establish a percent-for-art law.

The Arts and State Governments - At Arm's Length or Arm in Arm?
     (pdf, 916KB, 86p.), August 2006

The earlier Rand/Wallace report:

State Arts Agencies 1965-2003: Whose Interests to Serve?
     (pdf, 664KB, 60p.), June 2004

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