Keeping art alive takes cash. Since its founding in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has supplied money to artists and organizations all over the U.S., the Texan art scene prominent among them. Since 2010, Austin alone has received close to $11 million in NEA grants. Through this number, it's clear to see that the city owes at least part of its reputation as a creative capital to the federal government.
However, now the value of this support is being questioned.
Are foundations with set periods for spending down their assets more effective as grantmakers than their peers who are established to exist in perpetuity? This is a longstanding discussion among philanthropists, with an article on the topic by Ray Madoff and Rob Reich published just yesterday in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. But Francie Ostrower, who has done extensive and in-depth research into this aspect of foundations, has some answers that may surprise readers and spark dialogue among advocates either of limited life or philanthropic immortality—so weigh in!