Racial Equity & Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh

Racial Equity & Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh

While arts groups led by people of color account for 18 percent of arts organizations in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, they received only 10 percent of public and private grant dollars in 2016, a report from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council finds. Based on grants data and an online survey, the report, Racial Equity & Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh (52 pages, PDF), found that in a region where people of color account for more than 20 percent of the population, ALAANA (African-American, Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian, Latinx, Native American/Pacific Islander) organizations continue to face funding disparities, even as the gap is narrowing. Funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments, the study found that while 70 percent of the foundations surveyed said racial equity was a major priority, only 11 percent had a board-approved racial equity policy or plan, or offered racial equity training for board members and staff. The report includes case studies of five funders — the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Heinz Endowments, the Pittsburgh Foundation, and the latter's Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program — as well as recommended grantmaking and policy options designed to ensure equitable distribution of arts grants.

(Photo credit: Jonathan Bachman/Benedum Center for the Performing Arts)