Mar 10, 2022 - News

Georgia's art funding ranks at or near the bottom

Reproduced from NASAA; Map: Axios Visuals

Georgia ranks at or near the bottom tier of states that provide funding to agencies supporting visual artists, dance troupes and small theaters, according to data from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

Why it matters: The arts play a vital role in education, communities and the economy. Art, however, requires adequate and steady investment.

Catch up quick: Gov. Brian Kemp and the General Assembly set a budget each year for the Georgia Council for the Arts, the state's arts agency.

  • The GCA was projected to receive roughly $1.5 million in the 2022 budget, according to NASAA's data.

Details: Connecticut allocates the most state funding per capita to arts, at nearly $10 (when including that state's significant use of earmarks), according to the nonprofit.

  • Georgia, by contrast, funds the GCA to the tune of $0.14 per capita — at or near the bottom in the United States, the NASAA says.

Of note: Remember, this isn’t the total amount of public funding spent on the arts in Georgia; the data excludes funding from the NEA, local governments, philanthropies and private donors.

What they’re saying: Bill Gignilliat of advocacy group ArtsGeorgia says cuts during the Great Recession hammered the GCA's budget, and despite the economic bounce back, state leaders have never adequately restored its funding.

A spokesperson for Kemp says he supports the arts and understands their benefits. “As we finalized budget items during pandemic years, the state was very mindful of critical needs as well as additional funding streams from local and federal governments in making final determinations.”


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Atlanta stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more