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April 11, 2012

Public Television Programs Face Steep Decline of Federal Support

Some of the best-known arts programs and documentaries on public television will receive significantly less money from the National Endowment for the Arts this year, The New York Times writes.

"Great Performances," "American Masters," and "POV" are among the shows set to lose most of their federal support in a round of cuts that will collectively pull more than $1-million from PBS programs.

The reductions do not become official until April 25, but the federal agency began sending out notifications last week of what grant recipients can expect for the 2012 funding cycle. An agency spokeswoman said the N.E.A. would not comment until April 25.

Applications to the N.E.A.'s $4-million Arts in Media program more than doubled this year after it was opened to Web, mobile, theatrical, and gaming projects. Previously called the Arts in Radio and Television program, it distributed about half of its funding last year to PBS shows.

In other arts news, a national study shows that Americans increased their attendance at arts programs in 2010, the first such rise in seven years, reports the Associated Press.

According to the National Arts Index, released Tuesday by the advocacy group Americans for the Arts, nearly a third of U.S. adults went to to an event in 2010 and about 13 percent visited an art museum.

But the survey of government and private data from 1998 to 2010 showed lingering financial troubles, with more than 40 percent of arts nonprofits operating at a deficit.