Public Arts Funders and United Arts Funds Reshape Strategies for the Twenty-First Century

Public Arts Funders and United Arts Funds Reshape Strategies for the Twenty-First Century

State and local arts agencies, public arts funders, and united arts funds are experimenting with new strategies aimed at fostering a cultural community that reflects changing demographics, catalyzes innovation, supports equity, and ensures a robust donor base, a report from Grantmakers in the Arts finds. Based on interviews with sixteen leaders of public arts funders and united arts funds, the report, Recalculating the Formula for Success: Public Arts Funders and United Arts Funds Reshape Strategies for the Twenty-First Century (18 pages, PDF), found that the funders were working to transform legacy institutions, nurture new arts groups, and launch initiatives that advance community development, cultural equity, arts education, and cultural planning. In addition, public arts funders and united arts funds increasingly are focused on ensuring that they serve the needs of historically underrepresented communities and support groups engaging younger and more diverse audiences with participatory community-based experiences. The report notes that a shift in board composition and thinking has been essential to bringing about changes in funding strategies — and that it has forced funders to ask questions such as, What is the trade-off between providing formula-based support for legacy institutions versus accelerating the growth of small and midsize arts groups that reflect changing community interests and demographics?