Grantmakers in the Arts Releases Pivotal Research on Arts and Culture Funding

Steven Lawrence

NEW YORK, NY — February 13, 2018. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first Arts Funding benchmark study, Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) commissioned arts philanthropy researcher Steven Lawrence for a comprehensive analysis of trends in arts and culture funding over the past twenty-five years.

Released in the Winter 2018 GIA Reader, “Arts Funding at Twenty-Five: What Data and Analysis Continue to Tell Funders about the Field,” sheds light on changing sources of support for arts and culture from the 1980s to the 2000s and the factors propelling those trends.

A presentation of his findings offered by Lawrence will mark the beginning of GIA’s 2018 webinar series. The Arts Funding at Twenty-Five webinar, moderated by GIA president and CEO, Eddie Torres, will be held on Tuesday, March 27, at 2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT. In the webinar, Lawrence will review key findings and highlight more recent funding data that suggest the arts are not keeping pace with other sectors, especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

“Steven Lawrence’s research reveals the importance of our continuing to support the arts as an intrinsic good and to make the case for their role as an essential part of supporting people and communities,” said GIA President and CEO, Eddie Torres. “The arts are what make us fully human. This report is a clarion call for all of us –the public sector, new foundations, corporations – to support the full humanity our residents and our communities through inclusion of the arts in their philanthropic strategies.”

“Written in a concise and engaging way, the ‘Arts Funding at Twenty-Five’ report gives us an informed reflection of arts philanthropy funding to better understand our field’s landscape and future priorities,” stated Angelique Power, president of the Chicago-based Field Foundation and chair of the GIA board of directors. “Steven Lawrence’s report makes us aware of the constant effort needed to improve our funding while remembering the need to come together and learn from each other.”

Through its retrospective analysis, “Arts Funding at Twenty-Five:  What Data and Analysis Continue to Tell Funders about the Field” reviews the history of arts funding while highlighting what the recent trends may suggest about priorities for the field.

“These findings can help all members of the public and private funding community to better understand the current landscape, engage in informed reflection on present distributions and future priorities, and convey the importance of arts and culture to a new generation of potential supporters,” writes Lawrence.

The report can be read here.

For details and registration for the Arts Funding at Twenty-Five webinar, follow this link.

Grantmakers in the Arts is a national association of private and public arts funders, including large independent foundations, family foundations, community foundations, national, state and local arts agencies, and nonprofit organizations that make grants to artists and arts organizations. The organization’s funding focus areas -racial equity in arts philanthropy, support for individual artists, arts education, and capitalization- are at the core of its work. GIA has 341 organizational members and provides communication services, research, and regional and national convenings for arts funders.


Grantmakers in the Arts media contact: Carmen Graciela Díaz, communications and publications manager: (718) 402-5915,, @Carmen7Graciela