National Endowment for the Arts Turns 45 Today
September 29, 2010
Washington, D.C. -- Forty-five years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, establishing the National Endowment for the Arts. More than four decades later, the Endowment continues to play a key role in enhancing American communities through the arts.
"Creativity is the source of successful, thriving American communities," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "The National Endowment for the Arts is doing its part to enhance the liveability of American communities through the arts."
The importance of imagination and creative thinking was evident in the original legislation that created the Endowment. Here, an excerpt from the Declaration of Purpose of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act:
Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and the humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.
The Arts Endowment is the largest, annual, national grantmaker in the arts, awarding more than $100 million annually, and investing in every state. The Endowment has created model programs of artistic excellence and national reach, such as The Mayor's Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary initiative and The Big Read, which puts reading back at the center of American culture. The NEA is the agency of record on arts research, producing landmark reports that provoke national debate on issues surrounding the arts and arts education. The Endowment collaborates on private and public partnerships that extend the work of the agency, such as a first-ever collaboration with Housing and Urban Development to include the arts in new community development funding opportunities. The NEA convenes thought leaders to put the arts at the center of discussions on education, the economy, technology, and creative placemaking, or how the arts make more liveable, sustainable communities.
In observance of its 45th Birthday, the National Endowment for the Arts has compiled statistics about the NEA and the arts and culture it supports.
A compendium of statistics on the National Endowment for the Arts on the occasion of its 45th Birthday
September 29, 2010
Total dollar amount of NEA grants awarded to nonprofit organizations
Economic activity generated by the nonprofit arts sector each year: $166 billionii
Number of cities participating in NEA's Mayor's Institutes on City Design since 1986: 600iii
Average ratio of matching funds to NEA awards: 7:1iv
Rate at which arts participants volunteer compared to non-participants: 2:1v
Languages translated into English through NEA Literature Translation Fellowships: 61vi
Most recent estimate of languages spoken worldwide: 6,909vii
Most common full-time arts profession: graphic designerviii
Most common volunteer performing arts activity: choral singerix
Rank of education as a primary influence on arts participation: #1x
Percentage of Internet users who watch, listen to, or download art at least once a week: 30xi
Average cumulative audience per broadcast for the NEA-supported television program Great Performances: 2.3 millionxii
Average time Americans age 15-24 spent watching TV daily: 2 hoursxiii
Average time spent reading for pleasure daily: 7 minutes.xiv
Rank of poem Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou, as selected by students competing in the 2006 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest: #1xv
Average time to create a three-foot traditional rug by NEA National Heritage Fellow and seventh-generation weaver Irvin Trujillo: 50 daysxvi
Average production time to machine-weave three feet of polyester fabric: 2 minutesxvii
Percentage of American recipients of the National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes in fiction and poetry who have received NEA Creative Writing Fellowships: 58xviii
Number of cities to hold community-wide readings of To Kill a Mockingbird through The Big Read: 130xix
i. Source: NEA at a Glance
ii. Source: Americans for the Arts, "Arts & Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences"
iv. Source: How the US Funds the Arts
v. Source: The Arts and Civic Engagement
vi. Source: NEA Newsroom, NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces $300,000 for 20 Literature Translation Fellowships (9/7/10)
vii. Source: www.ethnologue.com
viii. Source: Artists in the Workforce
ix. Source: NEA 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts
x. Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Effects of Arts Education on Participation in the Arts, 1996, and Age and Arts Participation: 1982-1997, 2000.
xii. source: WNET
xiii. Source: To Read or Not To Read (2007)
xv. Source: National Endowment for the Arts
xvi. Source: NEA Heritage Fellow Irwin Trujillo, Centinela Traditional Arts, Chimayo, New Mexico
xvii. Source: "How It's Made: Fleece" episode from Aug 20, 2009, The Science Channel.
xviii. Source: National Endowment for the Arts. N.B. Since 1990, 53 of the 91 American recipients of National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes in fiction and poetry have received Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Of these 53, all but three were supported by the Endowment before receiving the national award, often 10 to 20 years earlier.
xix. Source: National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency