Subscriber Special - New: Our Art Funding Investigation in Wall Street Journal 8_art_funding

July 11, 2017 12:10 PM
"The investigative work of OpenTheBooks has fomented
a revolution in fiscal transparency."
Wall Street Journal - Roger Kimball
July 11, 2017
It Costs Taxpayers A Bundle, But Is It Art?
A $10,000 grant for theater 'celebrating 
the saguaro cactus'? 

The Wall Street Journal, by Roger Kimball
July 11, 2017
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OpenThe Books Oversight Report - 
National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities
Download a free PDF copy of our report, click here.
Today, we released our OpenTheBooks investigation of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities. 

With editorial coverage at the Wall Street Journal, we ask whether or not nonprofits have a right to public funding no matter how strong their balance sheet?

In 2016, nonprofit and higher education organizations across America received grants of $183 million. Recipients of $20.5 million included 71 financially rich entities - each with assets exceeding $1 billion. Those entities were awarded $120 million in taxpayer funds since 2009.

In the arts community, there is a stark contrast between the haves and have-nots. There were the "starving artist" organizations - 1,027 organizations with assets under $1 million - that received just $41 million in federal grants (FY2016). 

This report raises several questions:
  • Why are taxpayers funding nonprofits that have assets of at least $1 billion? Do charities have a right to public funding no matter how strong their balance sheet?
  • If the public purpose is to fund the starving artist, then why are small organizations (less than $1 million in assets) receiving just $1 of every $4 in NFA-H nonprofit grant-making?
  • Should prestigious universities receive arts and humanities funding despite their billion-dollar endowments?
  • Who can explain the public purpose in forcing working-class taxpayers to fund arts organizations that obviously don't need the money? 
Read our investigation of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities.
Join the Transparency Revolution! Join Us.
After all, it's your money!
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-f-ski)
Founder and CEO,
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director
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