Thursday, February 6, 2014

NEA Endowments Benefit All Americans, Study Concludes

The New York Times reports that National Endowment for the Arts benefits both rich and poor, contrary to sustaining arguments from  some U.S. politicians.

The academic report concludes:

By examining the community wealth characteristics of arts organizations that have received NEA grants, we found evidence that contradicts the claim of inter-community wealth transfer.NEA grants are not distributed to organizations in wealthier communities,
as measured by median household income.

Instead, the organizations receiving NEA grants tend to be in communities with greater income diversity – that is, a high percentage of wealthy and poorer households. We also presented evidence that questions the claim that those in wealthier communities benefit more from the arts: while median household income has no observable relationship with arts attendance, the proportions of wealthy and poorer households in a community both have positive relationships with arts attendance.

Thus, the arts benefit all Americans – the poor as well as the wealthy –and NEA funding of the arts is remarkably impartial to community wealth characteristics.

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