Letter to the Editor – Arlington Magazine
We appreciated the “State of the Arts” article in the July/August issue and the in-depth information about some of the hurdles arts organizations and visual artists have to conquer in order to remain vibrant and healthy. However, we wanted to provide more in-depth dollar figures because the statistics on page 40 do not fully reflect direct support for the arts with “like” dollar figures when comparing Arlington, D.C., and Montgomery County funding for the arts.
The numbers presented in the table in the magazine article include elements such as staff salaries, which wildly differ in each jurisdiction and do not necessarily directly support arts organizations. A more accurate way to gauge how each jurisdiction supports its arts organizations is to compare the actual levels of grant funding that directly supports arts organizations and artists. Below are the 2019 grant budgets—money awarded directly to arts organizations– for each jurisdiction:
- Arlington Commission for the Arts – $215,810 or $0.92 per capita
- Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County – $5,493,890 or $5.21 per capita
- DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities – $23,646,764 or $33.66 per capita
It is critical that we present accurate comparative data so as not to confuse Arlingtonians about the current low level of direct financial support of local arts organizations and visual artists – especially as we are beginning to ask the community how to further enhance the vibrancy and health of Arlington’s arts organizations and artists.
President, Embracing Arlington Arts