Government Funding to Arts Agencies

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In 2023, federal, state, and local government funding to their arts agencies increased to historically high levels. NEA funding increased from $180 million to $207 million in 2023.

Chart showing government funding for the arts from 2007 to 2023
Graph of government arts funding
  • Local government funding to local arts agencies is an estimated $1.01 billion in 2023, a 7.5%
    increase from 2022. Pandemic relief funding may be the source for much of the increase and it
    remains to be seen how much will be sustained in the future. There are an estimated 4,500
    local arts agencies in the U.S. ($1.01 billion = $3.24 per capita)
  • State legislative arts appropriations grew 17% to $971 million in 2023, up from $833 million in
  1. The rapid growth since 2021 is likely temporary as many states used an influx from state
    revenues and federal pandemic relief to support the arts. ($971 million = $2.91 per capita)
  • Federal appropriations to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) increased to $207
    million in 2023, its highest level ever (up from $180 million in 2022). When accounting for
    decades of inflation, however, the 2023 figure has nowhere near the same real dollar value of
    earlier appropriation levels. For example, if the NEA’s 1992 budget had remained constant and
    was only adjusted for inflation, it would be $377 million in 2023, instead of $207 million—a
    $170 million difference.
    ($207 million = 62 cents per capita)
    Note: These figures are limited to government funding directly to the NEA, state arts agencies,
    and local arts agencies. They may not represent the full breadth of government funding, such
    as legislative line items to culture organizations, facilities, or arts funding by non-arts
    government agencies.

Sources: Americans for the Arts, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and U.S. Census Bureau, 2023.