Cactus dances, Christopher Columbus assassination plays receive taxpayer funding.
According to freebeacon.com:
The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities is giving millions of taxpayer dollars to nonprofits with assets of over $1 billion.
OpenTheBooks.com, a transparency watchdog group, released a report this week highlighting egregious examples of arts funding going towards museums, universities, and nonprofit organizations that hardly need federal funding.
The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities issued $20.5 million in grants to “asset-rich” nonprofit groups with assets of $1 billion or more in 2016 alone.
The foundation is the umbrella organization for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
“Why are taxpayers funding nonprofits that have assets of at least $1 billion?” OpenTheBooks.com said. “Do charities have a right to public funding no matter how strong their balance sheet?”
“Who can explain the public purpose in forcing working-class taxpayers to fund arts organizations that obviously don’t need the money?” the group added.
The report highlighted numerous examples of arts funding that went to questionable projects.
The Borderlands Theater, which received $10,000 from the NEA in December for a play about going back in time to kill Christopher Columbus, also received funding for dance performances with a cactus.
“First, attendees stand or sit with a saguaro cactus for an hour in the middle of the desert,” OpenTheBooks.com said. “Participants are encouraged to see what the cactus can teach them during this hour and share their experience on social media using the hashtag #IStandWithSaguaros.”
The funding also went to a podcast on the cactus and a “cactus celebration” involving story, song, poem, and dance.
The Borderlands Theater’s annual revenue is $228,461, and received $90,000 from the federal government since 2009.
The richest organization to receive taxpayer funding is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The museum has $4 billion in assets.
“Yet, the Met received $1.22 million in grants and contracts from the NFA-H (FY2009-FY2016). Calendar year 2016 was the biggest year of NFA-H grants to the Met, which received $551,028,” OpenTheBooks.com said.
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