The Boston Foundation Releases Comparative Study on Arts Giving

While we are waiting to see the results of Boston Creates, the city-wide survey which will inform a new cultural plan, The Boston Foundation issued its own report in January 2016 on how Boston supports and sustains the arts in comparison to 10 other major US cities.

Here’s the good news: we’re #2 in arts per capita.

Arts Per Capita



Here’s the bad news: Boston is dead last in the comparative study in government support of the arts, per capita.

Arts Govt Support


What does that mean? Well, you can read the full report from TBF here. In a nutshell, Boston arts organizations receive more federal support than funding at a state and local level. As Martin Gay at the Boston Globe summarizes, “The study found that Boston arts organizations face a unique set of challenges when it comes to attracting funding. While the city is near the top in terms of median individual giving, corporate funding for the arts in Boston is among the lowest levels per capita. Boston also has relatively few foundations that fund the arts, and they often favor larger institutions.

Emphasis is our’s. We’ve got our work cut out for us. Once the City delivers the new cultural plan in June 2016, we will be able to take a more educated approach to how we give to the Boston arts community. We look forward to working with organizations both big and small, educators, and fellow funders in how to continue to push this vital element of Boston.