State-level funding for the arts, humanities, heritage, and allied forms of culture is an important source of financial support, dwarfing the aid provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This investigation, underwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts, shows that states support culture through policies and programs scattered across state government and through means that go beyond direct funding.
Sub-National Cultural Policy - Where the Action is? Mapping State Cultural Policy in the United States
This paper introduces some new thinking about the role and contribution of cultural programs at the sub-national level, illustrating these ideas by reference to the role of the states in the United States. It is based on a pilot project for the Mapping of State Cultural Policy in the United States.
What is the current status of information on state-level arts policy, in particular? What data and resources are available, and what gaps are still apparent? In the process of exploring some answers to these questions, I hope to stimulate thinking about the development and coordination of data platforms that can foster informed state-level arts policy in the future.
It will surely be a useful endeavor to “unveil” state-level cultural policy – to reveal the many forms it takes, to understand its origination and encourage the transfer of useful ideas from state to state. But an inventory of state cultural policy may lead to a series of additional questions: Why does a particular policy look the way it does? What led it its inception at that time, as opposed to a decade earlier or later? Why was strategy “X” put in place in one state, while strategy “Y” evolved next door?
This essay is a brief summary of the history of state arts councils (SAAs) of the United States. The overall finding is that the revision in the relative resources of the national and subnational levels of government for funding the arts requires a reconfiguration of policymaking roles and responsibilities.