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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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Research on Demand

How You Can Use Grant-Making Data

NASAA Director of Research Angela Han

As a national source of information on public arts funding, NASAA provides a knowledge network and a fact base to help state arts agencies make informed policy decisions and put their own state's needs and experiences in context. Providing customized responses to member questions is a hallmark of NASAA. This column offers specific examples of the NASAA research services available and shows how they can be customized to meet your needs.

Each year, state arts agencies submit grant-making statistics to NASAA through Final Descriptive Reports. Data is available from fiscal year 2010 back to the early 1980s. The examples presented here are just a few ways this data can be used to show how public dollars are invested in the arts.

In 2010, state arts agencies supported 22,849 projects in nearly 5,000 communities across the country. Grants were awarded in all artistic disciplines to a variety of recipients, including nonprofit arts organizations, individual artists, schools and community groups. The table below shows the distribution of state arts agency grants by discipline, and the pie chart shows the distribution of all state arts agency grants last year by different types of recipients.

State arts agencies invest many of their funds in nonprofit organizations as general operating support. These grants provide flexible, unrestricted funds and are a popular form of support among grantees. Over the years, state arts agencies' commitment to general operating support has remained steady, even increasing slightly during the recession.

See NASAA's grant making page for more examples of how states arts agency grant-making statistics are used. For customized information or further guidance on how to use this information, contact Angela Han.