DCCAH WATCH: The Truth RE: The ###’s!

WHEN NUMBERS DON’T ALWAYS TELL YOU THE COMPLETE STORY! So the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities issued their yearly press release on where Arts Funding will go.  The Commission has always been good about padding themselves on the back, BUT unfortunately, most don’t usually dive any deeper. Individuals within our community need to start looking at who is getting funded and at what levels.  Large organizations are walking away with tens of thousands of dollars where smaller organizations are fighting over scraps.  Traditional arts gets funded better than new media…the list goes on and on. That is why we need to start holding the commission and their staff accountable.  Its one thing to shout out how much you are giving to the arts community, its another thing on how that funding is applied!

SOLUTION: The Commission needs to provide more information about the who!  It isn’t really proper just to rest on your laurels because you gave out more money than any other jurisdiction.  I mean DC is just DC…Maryland has many more residents and many more cities…as does Virginia.  The Commission needs to provide information as to how many artists are being paid, not just the ones from various organizations, but independent artists who applied for various programs including projects, fellowships, etc.  Second, the commission needs to be more forthcoming about the breakdown of how many organizations with a budget of $1 million or more are getting funded and at what levels for instance.  We really need to know if larger institutions are getting well funded while smaller ones are fighting over scraps.  Lastly, we need to see a breakdown between the different artistic types and disciplines.  Is Traditional Arts being funded better than New Media? So many questions, so few answers…..

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DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities: Awards Nearly $25 Million in Grants for Fiscal Year 2020: Funding supports the arts and humanities in all eight wards of the District.

(Washington, DC) – The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) recently awarded $24,738,534 in competitive grants to support arts and humanities projects, nonprofit organizations, and individual practitioners across the District in FY 2020. This marks the largest annual issuance of grant funds in the agency’s 51-year history.  This is a record-breaking year for public funding of the arts and culture in the District of Columbia,” said DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Chair Kay Kendall. “CAH continues to be ranked number one in funding per capita among the 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the country, which is a testament to the District government’s commitment to invest in the city’s arts and humanities community.”

 “As the official arts agency for the District of Columbia, CAH works to promote progress in the arts and humanities,” said DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Interim Executive Director Heran Sereke-Brhan. “Through our programs and policies in grantmaking, education, and professional development, we are honored to be of service not only to the city’s cultural sector, but to all District residents and visitors.”  CAH awards grants through a competitive process. Applications from individuals and organizations are reviewed by independent panels that then make award recommendations to the CAH board of commissioners for final approval. Those applicants not receiving funding are offered technical assistance to support future applications. CAH has awarded 626 grants in FY 2020. A complete listing of FY 2020 grantees is available on the CAH website at dcarts.dc.gov.  


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