NEA Awards First Grants to Support Arts Research

Thu, 05/31/2012 - 8:00am

The National Endowment for the Arts announced yesterday it would award $250,000 in grants to support research projects investigating the value and impact of the arts in the United States.  This is the first time the NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis has awarded grants in the organization’s forty-seven year history.

Rocco Landesman, chair of the NEA, stressed the importance of arts research in advancing the work of the field.  “In order to create well-designed and responsive arts programs and policies, we need to have solid, research-based evidence about how art works.”

The work of the eleven grantees will touch on three different focus areas:

  • The impact of the arts on local and/or national economic development
  • The health and viability of arts and cultural institutions
  • The links between arts engagement and cognitive, social, civic, and behavioral outcomes.

California Alliance for Arts Education is among the initial grantees.  CAAE will use the NEA funds to complete an analysis of the access, equity, quantity, and diversity of arts education throughout California schools.  This research will prove invaluable to those who are invested in moving arts education forward in our state; the analysis will detail the current state of arts education in K-12 public schools, explore five-year trends, and investigate how our state compares to other states nationwide.  This study comes on the heels of similar studies conducted by Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Data from California’s schools will undoubtedly contribute to an overall understanding of the state of arts education nationwide.

A full listing of the grants and projects is available on the NEA’s website.

Sunil Iyengar, director of research & analysis for the NEA, said, “I’m pleased that in addition to publishing research reports and hosting research and policy conferences, the NEA can support the work of other researchers dedicated to promoting a better understanding of the value and impact that the arts can provide for our country’s citizens.”