Where Art Thou, Public Art Funding?

Tyler Meier
April 20, 2011
Comments 0

A sobering look, via pie chart, at how art funding fits in the federal budget: use this simple website to get a sense of how your taxes fund the different spending areas of the federal government. Type in your salary and filing status, and then mouse over the generated pie chart to see details for how your taxes are distributed. Look for a thin sliver called “Education, Training, Employment, Social Services”–within that broad heading lies the funding for the National Arts and Humanities Endowments–just a portion of this section.

Like other non-profit entities, KR depends on public foundation grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and our state granting agency, the Ohio Arts Council, for yearly operational support. In the national and state budget rhetoric, arts funding has consistently been cut in order to curtail growing deficits. While we can appreciate a budget that works as much as anyone, the loss of funding directly affects arts organizations like The Kenyon Review and threatens the cultural fabric of American life in implicit and explicit ways. A budget articulates a mission statement as clearly as the words that normally typify that discourse. There’s a way in which the pie chart from the website suggests what it means to an American in the current moment. We all have to decide if that’s what we want our of idea of being American to look like.

Of course, elected officials, like arts organizations, always appreciate feedback. And KR can always use your support–especially now–whether in the form of a subscription or donation. Both are easy to do on our secure order page.



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