University of Maryland Study Shows Black Arts Groups Are Struggling

marylandA new report by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland College Park finds that many arts organizations that focus on African Americans and other racial or ethnic minorities are struggling.

Among the findings of the report are:

  • The 20 largest mainstream organizations have a median budget of $61 million while the 20 largest organizations of color have a median budget size of $3.8 million.
  • Total net earnings in mainstream dance were more than $31 million compared to close to $5 million for African American dance.
  • The median executive compensation in mainstream theater is $338,812, compared to $62,692 in African American theater.
  • Thirteen of the 20 largest arts organizations of color in the sample reported deficits in fiscal year 2013, with nine reporting deficits of at least 10 percent of their total annual budgets.

“In 2015, a large number of arts organizations of color are struggling, in some cases desperately,” conclude the authors of the report. “As macro trends emerge that threaten the U.S. arts sector as a whole, from cuts in government funding to the proliferation of cheap online entertainment, organizations of color are particularly vulnerable.”

The full report, Diversity in the Arts: The Past, Present, and Future of African American and Latino Museums, Dance Companies, and Theater Companies, may be downloaded here.


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