NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
"Our investment makes possible the
breadth of excellence, diversity and
vitality that is America's culture."
have seen America in the making. In Port Gibson, Mississippi,
I watched quilters weave stories out of thread. In inner city Detroit,
I applauded high school children as they reinvented Shakespeare
to the rhythms of the street. In Seattle, I saw the wonders of a brand new art
museum. In Missoula, Montana, I heard a cowboy poet spin yarns of the
American west. In Abilene, Texas, I saw a downtown revitalized through the
arts. This past year, I met thousands of Americans in town halls, community
arts centers, and classrooms in all 50 states — people all across our country are
forging an identity through the arts, reclaiming what it means to be an
The people create America's culture, and the National Endowment for
the Arts helps them do it. Everywhere Americans told me they want more
participation in the arts, better schools, and ways to use the arts in renewing
the spirit of their communities and children. We invest in that future. Since the
creation of the Endowment in 1965, culture has flourished in our nation. The
number of artists and arts organizations has exploded, and for many people,
the projects we support are their only opportunity to see, hear and experience
the arts in their own communities.
The National Endowment for the Arts belongs to each of us and to all of
us. Our investment makes possible the breadth of excellence, diversity and
vitality that is America's culture. Our dedication to the arts today will shape
our civilization tomorrow. In that spirit and with that challenge, we will invest
in our greatest cultural asset — the American people and their creativity.
Jane Alexander, Chairman
Are cities to be regarded only as places where people work? . . .
Are cultural expressions of civic life a mere ornament or refinemei
they at the very core of what it means to live in a city?
— Samuel Hazo, Director, International Poetry Forum, Pittsburgh
The arts make communities better places in which to live and
work. Our grants build and strengthen America's small towns
People love and need the arts in their lives, for the arts bring
people together. Over the past 30 years, the Endowment has
nurtured new dance companies, theaters, music, folk arts,
literature, film and television, and arts centers which are rooted
in local communities. This investment has made it possible for
more people to experience arts events in their own hometowns.
Annual attendance for the arts has increased steadily over the
past 30 years. Today more people attend arts events than
professional sports events.
The Endowment instills in communities a sense of
"ownership" of the arts.
• In rural America, people come together for touring music and dance events,
traveling exhibitions, festivals, and arts education in the schools supported by the
• In small town America, mayors and designers rebuild and renew communities
through good design in new buildings, public projects, neighborhood restoration
and revitalization, initiated through our Mayors' Institute on City Design.
• In the myriad cultures of America, we invested an estimated $22 million last year
to support arts activities by African-American, Asian-American, Latino-American,
Native American and other ethnic communities that enrich the lives of everyone.
• In cities across America, Endowment grants revitalize downtown business areas,
attract conferences, conventions and tourism, increase the value of commercial
and residential real estate, and spark civic pride — all leading to safer and better
Our goal is to help people connect to the arts in their communi-
ties. We support community festivals, arts centers and the arts
in libraries, town halls, children's organizations, senior citizens
centers, hospitals, and other social and civic institutions where
people can learn, experience and create.
The business leaders of tomorrow will need what the arts can give them.
They need to see and hear and feel the world. They need to imagine and
conceptualize and express themselves. They need to lead with vision and
passion... These are the characteristics our young people develop when they
are encouraged to participate in the arts.
— Richard S. Gurin, President & CEO, Binney & Smith, Inc.
The National Endowment for the Arts costs each American
just 64 cents a year. This small investment has a tremendous
The arts mean business at the national and local levels. The
National Endowment for the Arts anchors the public/private
partnership of financial support for the nonprofit arts.
One Endowment dollar attracts at least $11 for the arts from
state, regional and local arts agencies, foundations, corpora-
tions, businesses and individuals.
The nonprofit arts industry generates an estimated:
• 1.3 million jobs
• $36.8 billion in expenditures
• $790 million in local government tax revenues
• $1.2 billion in state government tax revenues
• $3.4 billion back to the Federal treasury in tax revenues
— 1 994 study from the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies
The arts matter to business, to our nation's wealth, competitive-
ness and growth.
The arts attract tourism and corporate headquarters, revitalize
downtown business areas, create jobs and increase the tax base.
The arts train a more creative workforce for the 21st century.
We will invest in our arts institutions and artists, the creation
of new works, andthe training of the next generation of artists
and administrators in order to ensure that the nonprofit arts
continue to flourish in our communities and add to the local and
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h a child to sing or play an instrument, we teach her to listen.
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teach him about his body and about space. When we teach
i,, we teach the geometry of the world. When we teach children
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er, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
We put the arts in our children's classrooms. The National
Endowment for the Arts frequently provides the only exposure
to the arts for millions of American children.
Our Arts in Education Program places 14,500 artists in 4,700
schools to work with children in every state in America.
The Arts Endowment leads the way in arts education reform.
At the community level, we are revitalizing our schools to
develop our children's creativity.
Children who learn through the arts:
• sharpen their communications skills
• gain reasoning abilities
• develop skills for careers
* learn collaboration and teamwork
• score higher on achievement tests
• have better attendance
• are better motivated to learn
• have greater self-esteem and confidence
• develop problem-solving skills
• understand their own heritage and other cultures
We also enable millions of children and their families to partici-
pate in children's theater, children's museums, festivals, family
concerts, design, folk and traditional art all across America.
Our goal is to make the arts basic to the curriculum for every
child's education from kindergarten through high school.
The arts will help prepare tomorrow's workforce to respond
creatively to the challenges of a competitive high-tech global
economy. We work as well to provide more opportunities for
lifelong learning in the arts for all Americans.
We strive for leadership in public and community service at Sara Lee
Corporation. Because we believe that a strong and vibrant cultural
community is an essential component of a thriving community, our
commitment r&mfts support remains constant.
— Robin Tryloff, Sara Lee Foundation
Forging Partnerships for Culture
Our grants are a catalyst for private donations to the arts. In
partnership, we bring together businesses, foundations, indi-
viduals, state and local arts agencies to make the arts happen.
Every federal dollar invested by the National Endowment for
the Arts in cultural organizations must be matched at least
dollar for dollar. The actual return on investment is much
higher. Our Challenge Program, which stabilizes arts organiza-
tions, has invested about $300 million since its inception, and
has leveraged nearly $2.4 billion to date.
Our leadership initiatives always require a partnership pool.
• In arts education, we cooperate with the Department of Education, state, local and
regional arts agencies, teachers, artists and the private sector to integrate the arts
in the curriculum.
• In arts touring, we partner with regional arts organizations, private foundations
and individuals to bring the arts to people in rural or remote areas.
• In arts festivals, we work with state arts agencies, arts organizations and
communities to make the arts accessible to everyone.
When the Endowment's budget has risen, private support for
the arts has increased. But in the past few years, as our federal
share of the investment decreased significantly, so too has
Our mission over the next few years is to increase arts fund-
ing opportunities by creating partnerships and collaborative
funding with the private sector and other government agencies.
We look to initiate new partnerships with civic and social
organizations, and other public funders.
The arts are a strategic national resource dependent upon
a strong private/public partnership. Our federal investment,
though small, is crucial to America's continued economic,
educational, international and social success.
Our Heritage and Our Future
We save the past and celebrate the future by preserving
our cultural heritage and the best art of today for tomorrow's
We recognize the excellence of our living American artists.
Our Folk & Traditional Arts Program keeps alive the cultural
traditions of America. Our Heritage Fellowships are the only
national award for America's best folk artists. Our Museum
Program conserves masterpieces in the visual arts. Our Design
Program invests in good design for affordable housing, global
competitiveness and revitalization of our neighborhoods.
Our programs enable millions of Americans to attend great
American drama, dance, classical music, opera and jazz.
Our Media Arts Program brings the arts on television and radio
to a combined audience of over 300 million people.
Individual artists who received Endowment fellowships at
pivotal points in their careers have gone on to win over 50
Pulitzer Prizes, over 25 National Book Awards, over 50
MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowships, numerous Tony
Awards, Emmy Awards and Academy Awards.
Since 1965, the Endowment has awarded over 100,000 grants to
arts organizations and artists in all 50 states.
• Public arts agencies in the states have grown from 5 to 56.
• Public arts agencies in small towns and cities have grown to over 3,800.
• Nonprofit theaters have grown from 56 to over 425.
• Large orchestras have grown from about 100 to over 230.
• Opera companies have grown from 27 to over 120.
• Dance companies have grown from 37 to over 400.
Our goal is to preserve our cultural heritage so that Americans
have greater opportunities to participate in the arts. In the year
2000, we will help arts organizations everywhere undertake a
national celebration of American culture at the beginning of the
The reason I want to keep this Arts
Center going is for the babies. It
wouldn't be fair if they didn't get to
come here when they're my age.
— Laquita Cook, Fourth-Grader,
Toomer Elementary, Atlanta, Georgia
Arts in Education
Challenge & Advancement
Folk & Traditional Arts
Local Arts Agencies
State & Regional
For more information about our programs,
please contact us at:
National Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20506
Taylor Dabney, Hand Workshop, Richmond, VA linside cover)
Craig Schwartz, c/o LA Music Center [page 2]
Gregory M. Donley, courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art [page 4]
Gerry Milnes, Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV (page 6]
Cooper Lecky Architects PC, Washington DC [page 6)
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company, Denver, CO (page 7|
Charlie Bublik. c/o Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, TX [page 7)
This publication has been made possible through the collaboration of
the NBA Design Program, Irene Chu, and The Daniels Printing Company.
Marco A. Vega, Henry Street Settlement, NY [page 7)
Bill Mills, Montgomery County (MD) Schools [page 6]
Jim Gautier, Los Alamos, NM [page 6]
Denver Art Museum [page 8|
Paul Kolnik, c/o Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet [page 10)
Axel Kustner, Bad Gandersheim, Germany [inside back cover]