Grants to culture groups through ArtPlace, a national collaboration between the National Endowment of the Arts and major foundations to involve the arts in community-development efforts, have been awarded mostly to programs in the chief grantmakers’ states, according to the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.
Nearly 70 percent of last year’s initial grant round of $11.5-million went to groups based in the home states of participating foundations, and three-fifths of the 127 finalists for the next $15-million round have similar geographic ties.
The Ford, Mellon, Bloomberg, Rockefeller, McKnight, and Kresge foundations are among the philanthropies backing ArtPlace. None of the supporting organizations are located in New Jersey, home to 70 applicants for round-two grants but no finalists.
Tim Halbur, a spokesman for ArtPlace, said the program aims to help organizations that “combine community development with creativity in the arts,” but he acknowledged that some foundations directed support to “the communities where they focus their grantmaking.”
In other arts news, a globally unique funding system has kept Brazil’s culture sector flush while other countries curtail arts spending, writes The New York Times.
SESC, a nonprofit entity with a constitutionally directed role to support arts and culture, is funded by a 1.5 percent payroll tax collected by Brazilian firms. As the South American country’s workforce expanded along with its fast-growing economy, SESC’s budget has jumped by 10 percent a year to a current $600-million.
The group’s thick coffers are spurring collaborations with international artists and festivals as well as supporting domestic arts programs, recreation activities, and education initiatives.
“The SESC model is a wonderful model that we should have all over the world,” said Nan van Houte, director of the Netherlands Theater Institute and a former president of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts.