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New study on Race and Arts Funding Released Today by Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

“Racial Equity and Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh” released to the public

 

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) released a groundbreaking research report about regional arts funding according to race, “Racial Equity and Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh”. Today at GPAC’s annual convening of 200 arts leaders, artists, funders, and officials, the report was released with a panel discussion in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, featuring panelists who worked on the report as well as Nadia Elokdah, Deputy Director and Director of Programs for Grantmakers in the Arts, the national arts service organization based in Bronx, New York.  The 52-page Summary Report is available to download from the Research section of GPAC’s website.

 

 

The research and report were prompted by GPAC’s  2016 survey of the region’s arts community that revealed that 84% of non-White respondents thought that Greater Pittsburgh’s arts funding was inequitable.  Following subsequent Board discussions, “Racial Equity and Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh” commenced.  Mitch Swain, CEO of Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council states: “Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council initiated the research study to fact-find about arts funding and racial equity.  For years, we’ve been operating without clear data, and lack of clarity sets the stage for lack of understanding and unity on how to move forward with more equitable funding strategies and practices.  We want to thank the Learning and Leadership Committee for stepping forward to participate in this conversation and research, and our funders – especially The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments - for their support and good faith.”

 

“Racial Equity and Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh” is the result of a yearlong study of hundreds of arts organizations, primary data from 20 local funders (public and private), and secondary data from publicly available resources.  The research was convened by a group of 12 local arts leaders, researchers and funders who formed the Learning and Leadership Committee under the auspices of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.  This Committee, a group comprised primarily of people of color, informed the core questions, frameworks, and context for the research, which was conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.  The report reveals a stark contrast between funding for White-majority organizations and ALAANA organizations, with key findings including disparities in the number of arts grants, total amounts of funds, and the average amount of grant dollars received by ALAANA organizations*  when compared with White/Non-Hispanic organizations.  From the report:  “These realities vary somewhat from year to year and by funder. Another key issue is the variability of grants and funding that ALAANA arts organizations receive annually, adding unpredictability to the fragile economic condition of many organizations (page 11).” 

 

The report offers sets of recommendation for foundations, public arts agencies and arts organizations to act upon that “address funders’ decision making processes as well as initiatives that policy makers could collectively adopt.” Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council recognizes this work as part of their long-term commitment to racial equity in the arts and in our communities.  The Committee’s work was made possible by a grant from the Advancing Black Arts Program of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.

*ALAANA: (Arab/Middle Eastern; Asian; Black or African-American; Hispanic/Latino(a)(x); Indigenous (e.g. Native American, Pacific Islander); More than one race). 

 

Source: Pittsburgh Arts Council 

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