Does The NEA Crowd Out Private Charitable Contributions To The Arts?
This paper investigates the mechanism by which the federal government's funding of the arts through National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) displaces private charitable contributions to non-profit arts organizations. Government funding of the arts has incited contentious political debates since the creation of the NEA in 1965. Conservatives argue that arts organizations attract enough non-government support to continue operating without federal aid, and that the NEA discourages private, charitable gifts to the arts. Artists, musicians, and their affiliated organizations, on the other hand, often decry the shortage of funds, the financial struggles in raising revenue, and the difficulty of meeting their operating costs and so welcome the NEA.