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OpenTheBooks Oversight Report: National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities

July 10, 2017
By Adam Andrzejewski

This report, published by American Transparency, uses government data published by the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities (NFA-H) to examine how taxpayer money is spent on cultural programming.

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This report, published by American Transparency, uses government data published by the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities (NFA-H) to examine how taxpayer money is spent on cultural programming.

The report uses official government data to study arts spending, Andrzejewski writes.

“According to NFA-H disclosures made possible through the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, a total of 3,163 total entities received $441.1 million in grant funding (FY2016),” Andrzejewski writes. “The NFA-H conferred these grants via 4,257 individual transactions. Our OpenTheBooks.com oversight report classified these grant-receiving entities by the same categorization as the federal government: nonprofit organizations, recognized under IRS Section 501(c)3; higher education institutions; governments; and Indian tribes. The gross assets, total employee compensation and total revenue of the 2,333 nonprofit organizations receiving NFA-H grants were derived from the last available IRS Form 990 Informational Return.”

Government arts subsidies disproportionately go to well-funded non-profit organizations, instead of individual artists or needy organizations, Andrzejewski writes

“The NFA-H granted $441.1 million to 3,163 entities in 2016 including nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, other government entities and government-labeled ‘Indian tribes.’ Nearly half of all grant dollars—$210 million—went to recipients in just 10 states,” Andrzejewski writes. “A total of $6.1 million in grants flowed into U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa. A total of 71 ‘asset-rich’ nonprofit organizations—organizations with an asset base greater than $1 billion—received $20.5 million in grants.”

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