Study: Arts Industry Hits Worst Slump in Decade

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WASHINGTON, DC (AP).- A new study measuring the health and vitality of the nation’s arts industry paints a grim picture. The first National Arts Index released Wednesday shows steady growth in the number of arts organizations since 1998 is now overwhelming current funding. The study by the group Americans for the Arts shows the nation’s artists and arts businesses fell into their biggest slump in more than a decade in 2008. It looks at 76 indicators, including music royalties, Broadway ticket sales, museum visits, philanthropy and the number of college art majors. The study found the number of nonprofit arts groups grew from 73,000 to 104,000 since 1998. But one out of three failed to break even on their budgets in the best years.