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How Much Does Ohio Receive from National Endowment for the Arts?


The National Endowment for the Arts sends about $2 million a year to Ohio, which benefits a variety of arts organizations and artists across the state.

President Donald Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the NEA, and that doesn’t sit well with many in the arts community.

“The financial impact will be significant, but the impact on us as a culture will be much deeper,” said Great Lakes Theater’s Producing Artistic Director Charles Fee.

The Ohio Arts Council doles out half of the money Ohio receives from the NEA. The NEA grants the other half directly to arts organizations in the state.

OAC has already received federal funding from NEA through June, but they are waiting to see what happens for the state’s next fiscal year, according to OAC’s Operations and Public Affairs Director Justin Nigro.  

OAC distributed $1 million in NEA dollars and another $13 million from the state’s budget to arts organizations and artists in fiscal year 2016. Cuyahoga County arts organizations and artists, for example, received $3.7 million from OAC, and $60,000 of that money came from the NEA.

“The NEA makes grants in every congressional district,” Nigro said. “The OAC, for the first time in our history, has made grants in every Ohio county and every Ohio House district over the last two years.”

Again, NEA also grants about $1 million directly to arts organizations in Ohio.  So far this year, they have granted $370,000 to Northeast Ohio arts organizations, all in Cuyahoga County.

Those grants include $10,000 for the Cleveland International Film Festival, which starts this week.

Another example of the direct grants: $10,000 for a Verb Ballets dance project at local assisted living facilities.

Verb’s Producing Artistic Director Dr. Margaret Carlson is one of several arts leaders voicing concern about proposed funding cuts.

“Through the support of the arts you nurture social cohesion, and it provides an outlet for individual expression,” Carlson said.

It’s up to Congress to determine what to do about future NEA funding, currently at about $148 million a year. Congress established the NEA in 1965.

*** Search online for grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts***

Hear this report today on Hear and Now featuring the Sound of Applause at 12:33 p.m. on 90.3.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.