Funding for Michigan Arts Council Increasing, Far Below Pre-Recession Levels

Funding for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has increased nearly ten-told since 2011, but is still far below what it was prior to the Great Recession. Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is the state’s lead agency that develops art and culture policy and distributes grants to support such policies throughout the state. This state agency receives both federal and state funding, the federal funding of which is typically a match to state funding.

The first chart below reflects the total amount appropriated to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs from both the State and the federal government and the second chart shows how much has been allocated from just the State.

Overall, the total appropriation for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in fiscal year 2020 is $9.7 million. That amount has been the agency’s total annual allocation since 2015, except in 2018 and 2019 when the total appropriation amounts were $10.7 million. Since 1997 the highest total appropriation amount Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has received is $25.5 million in 2001. So, while state funding for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has been increasing in recent years it is still at less than have of where it was at in the late 1990s.

According to budget data provided by the Michigan Arts Council the State of Michigan appropriated $10.1 million for the arts in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and $9.1 million in 2020; $9.1 million was also appropriated between 2015 and 2017. However, in 2011 and 2012 the State appropriated $1.5 million to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The federal government has consistently provided a grant to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for $1.05 million since at least 2011. When these funds are allocated from the federal government each year the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is expected to match, at the most, what has been allocated to them by the federal government.

The overall purpose of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is to promote civic engagement, economic development and educational opportunities. This agency has been able to do this by supporting field trips and classroom initiatives, providing funding to area government capital improvements, along with a host of other programs throughout the state. While this agency does infuse local governments and schools with access to arts and culture, it does not provide funding to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The DIA is instead funded through a public millage (which is up for a 10 year renewal on March 10), an endowment fund, revenue through admissions and programs and donations.  

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