New report pinpoints challenges African-American and Latino arts organizations face

Posted on: October 14, 2015

“Sending ‘a wake-up call’ to arts donors, a new national study paints a bleak economic picture of African American and Latino nonprofit museums and performing arts companies,” writes Mike Boehm in Monday’s (10/12) Los Angeles Times. “Funders may need to support ‘a limited number of organizations,’ says the report by the University of Maryland’s DeVos Institute of Arts Management, ‘with larger grants to a smaller cohort that can manage themselves effectively, make the best art, and have the biggest impact on their communities.’ The ‘Diversity in the Arts’ report contains another potentially controversial finding: When large, mainstream arts organizations put on black- or Latino-themed performances or exhibitions, they siphon away artistic talent, donations and attendance from black and Latino companies. ‘In 2015 a large number of arts organizations of color are struggling, in some cases desperately,’ says the report, overseen by Michael Kaiser, the veteran arts administrator and former Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts president who heads the DeVos Institute. Although many of these organizations produce important work, ‘the majority are plagued by chronic financial difficulties.’ … The DeVos Institute used tax returns for what it ranked as the 30 largest African American and 30 largest Latino nonprofit arts group nationwide, by budget, in the fields of theater, dance and museums.”

Posted October 14, 2015