My status message on gchat yeterday read something to the effect of, "wondering what portion of arts funding comes directly from the banking and financial world." A friend of mine directed me to an article in The Washington Post that answers part of the question, citing an NEA study that found that only 3% of total arts funding comes from corporations.
The Post's article points out the potential ripple effect of the current economic state; that even though 3% of funding comes from corporations, a significant portion of funding comes from the employees of those corporations who are inidividual donors to the arts. Another significant portion of arts funding comes from foundations that receive money either directly or indirectly from the corporate world.
We're destined to see a little tightening up in the coming months.. Diversity in our audiences and our funders is key; anyone who was reliant on a single grant from Lehman Bros. is clearly out of luck right now, but for the rest of us, spreading our funding between earned revenues and individual, corporate, and government contributions is what we know from experience will keep us afloat in tighter times.
But I go back to my point yesterday that the arts will survive, and this time with some back-up from The Post, who says, "It's an article of faith among theater honchos that when the going gets depressing, the depressed go to the theater."