Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts funding & finances

Commissioned by the Visual Arts Alliance with a financial contribution from the Canada Council for the Arts, this literature review attempts to provide a synthesis of existing research in the visual arts in Canada and to identify gaps in this research. The report notes that the goal was not to outline the state of the visual arts sector in Canada but rather the state of research into the visual arts in the country.

Key findings

The goal of the research outlined in this presentation was to provide “reliable, detailed data on public art galleries across Ontario”, thereby influencing art gallery sector analysis as well as organizations’ benchmarking and future planning.

GIA’s Annual Research on Support for Arts and Culture

These brief articles highlight government support for the arts in 2013 and foundation support for the arts and culture in 2011 in the United States. The article on public funding indicates that total government funding for the arts in the U.S. was estimated at $1.14 billion in 2013. Local governments provided the most support for the arts (over $700 million, although exact figures by level of government were not provided in the article). State legislatures appropriated nearly $300 million for the arts, and the federal appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts was under $140 million in 2013. Total government funding for the arts decreased by 30% after inflation between 1992 and 2013. Based on a sample of 1,122 larger foundations in the U.S., the article on foundation funding estimated arts and culture funding to be 10% of foundation funding for all fields of giving.

A study on the multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Civics

Based on an online survey of 809 Canadians outside of Quebec who made a financial donation to a not-for-profit organization over the year before the survey (May 2013), this report examines generational differences in charitable giving. Unfortunately, the report does not provide the margins of error of the overall statistics or the generational breakdowns. As such, its statistical validity is difficult to assess (although the sample size would be representative at the national level, if it were a random survey). In addition, the report does not indicate why Quebec respondents were excluded in 2013 after being included in a similar 2010 survey. The report estimates that the share of current donations among the generations to all types of not-for-profit organizations is: Civics (25%), Boomers (32%), Generation X (27%), and Generation Y (15%).

With Comparisons to Twelve Other Canadian Cities

While focussed on cultural investments by the City of Saskatoon, this research document also provided information regarding the expenditures of other municipal governments that have participated in a similar benchmarking process over the past few years. Regarding average yearly spending on culture between 2009 and 2012, Edmonton had the highest per capita investment ($34.39), followed by Saskatoon ($32.36), Richmond ($23.52), Hamilton ($23.51), Oakville ($19.28), Halifax ($17.19) and Windsor ($12.49). The most recent year’s data (2012) show that Saskatoon had the highest overall investment in culture ($47.05), followed by Edmonton ($38.68), Richmond ($31.85), Hamilton ($24.10), Halifax ($17.25), Oakville ($16.69), and Windsor ($15.30).

(Les dépenses culturelles des municipalités en 2012)

This report from Quebec’s cultural observatory highlights various statistics related to cultural spending by Quebec municipalities in 2012. Quebec municipalities’ operating expenditures on culture totalled $843 million, representing 4.8% of municipal operating expenditures. Montreal and Quebec City, the only cities with populations over 500,000 in Quebec, spent $373 million on culture in 2012, or 44% of the cultural expenditures of all Quebec municipalities.

Based on the author’s research and personal immersion “over the past three years in the complexities of arts support systems and their relationship to contemporary practice”, this report argues that “we need to realign our arts policy mindset and funding practices to support a new generation of arts development in Canada. To do this will require collaborative action on the part of the arts community and its funders.”

A powerful possibility for a more resilient arts sector

With explosive growth in the arts over the past two decades, this report argues that “it is increasingly difficult to raise the resources required to support an ongoing organizational structure and keep it healthy”. Given this situation, the author proposes that shared administrative platforms, specifically charitable venture organizations, “could make a significant impact on improving the health of the arts sector”.

An Attempt to Debunk Myths around Innovation and Identify How Grantmakers Can Support Adaptive Change

Based on his consulting experience with many American arts organizations, the author of this opinion piece outlines myths and realities about innovation in not-for-profit arts organizations. For the author, “innovation is a newly emerging, organization-wide discipline, the most far-reaching new set of capacities arts organizations can learn, and the most powerful new discipline to enter our field since the advent of strategic planning in the 1970s”.

Overview of the 2012-13 Provincial and Territorial Budgets from the Perspective of the Arts and Culture Sector

This report, based on an analysis of budget information from each province and territory, provides a summary of cultural spending in 2012-13 by each provincial and territorial government, along with a brief analysis of overall trends. The report notes that fiscal restraint was a key priority for many provincial and territorial governments, limiting the potential for growth in cultural budgets. In this context, the report indicates that “cultural budgets in most jurisdictions are flat-lined” in 2012/13.