MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 22, 2011) – Minnesota grantmaking to the arts decreased by 10 percent in 2009 from 2008 – and dropped 19 percent from 2004 levels – according to new research by the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF).
The research sample gave $105.7 million to the arts in 2009, the most recent time period for which complete data are available. The sample includes 100 of Minnesota’s top grantmakers and a portion of their grants that represent about two thirds of the state’s philanthropic giving for the year.
The share of Minnesota grant dollars going to the arts has decreased steadily in recent years, from 15 percent in 2004, to 11 percent in 2009. Arts grantmaking falls behind giving to education, human services, and public affairs/society benefit.
“The poor economy and changing priorities at foundations have hit arts organizations especially hard,” says Bill King, MCF President. “Many funders have reduced arts giving and prioritized human services and education giving during tough times.”
Corporate grantmakers, private foundations and community/public foundations all decreased their giving to the category of arts, culture and humanities. Corporate grantmakers, who gave just over half of the arts grant dollars in 2009, decreased their funding by 7 percent. As in past years, Target Foundation and Corporation was Minnesota’s largest arts grantmaker. In 2009, Target gave $30 million in grants included in the sample.
Private grantmakers, who gave about one-third of arts dollars, decreased their funding by 5 percent to $37.6 million. And community/public foundations reduced giving by 32 percent to $11.8 million.
Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation was the state’s third largest arts grantmaker in 2009. Sharon DeMark, program officer, explains, “At our foundations, we remain committed to supporting the arts as an important part of a vibrant community.
“As we work closely with arts organizations, it’s evident they are deeply rethinking strategic planning in order to survive and even thrive in these challenging economic times.”
As in past years, in 2009 the performing arts subcategory received the largest share – just over one-third – of arts grant dollars. Grantmaking to arts, culture and humanities includes contributions to the performing arts, museums, media/communications, cultural organizations, historical societies, visual arts, humanities and arts services.
“The arts are an essential part of life for all Minnesotans,” stresses Vickie Benson, arts program director at The McKnight Foundation, Minnesota’s second largest arts funder. “Artists help us find meaning and make sense of the world around us.”
In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature appropriated approximately $93 million from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund for projects starting between July 1, 2009, and July 1, 2011. This new taxpayer-funded source of arts funding is not included in MCF’s philanthropic research.
MCF conducts Giving in Minnesota research annually to examine long-term trends in charitable giving. For the latest information on arts, human services and education grantmaking, visit www.mcf.org/research/giving. MCF’s complete Giving in Minnesota, 2011 Edition, will be released in October.
About the Minnesota Council on Foundations
The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF), a regional association of grantmakers, works actively to strengthen and expand philanthropy and increase the vitality of our communities. MCF members represent three-quarters of all grantmaking in the state, awarding more than $900 million to nonprofits annually. Members include family and private independent foundations, community and other public foundations, and corporate foundations and giving programs. For more information, visit www.mcf.org.