Philanthropy and the Arts

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Definition of Philanthropy
Visual Arts
Visual Arts: Creating
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: The arts are an important part of any community. One of the things that makes life worth living is the capacity to see beautiful things. Foundations that fund the arts recognize that arts make a community stronger and more vital. The performers and artists are often the biggest philanthropists, as they dedicate their time and talent to brighten our lives and stimulate discussion.

Anticipatory Set

Brainstorm a list of different kinds of art forms. This may include painting, dance, theater, music, and much more. Talk about what art forms students like and where they get to see it or participate in its creation. 



  1. How do you feel when you create art? Why do you think it is important to share art? 
  2. If you have ever been part of a play, a musical performance, or an art exhibit, you know the good feeling that comes from sharing your artistry with others. What do you think you do for the people who attend these events? 
  3. How do you feel when you are at an arts event? What art are you most interested in or inspired by? Explain.
  4. Philanthropy is "giving time, talent, or treasure for the sake of another." Do you think the sharing or performing art is an example of time, talent, or treasure? Explain your thinking.
  5. The arts depend on philanthropists -- foundations, corporations, and individuals who give money -- so artists and art organizations can produce and exhibit. Do you think the arts would exist in society without philanthropic dollars? 

Follow-Up Activity

Interview someone from different local artistic establishments to find out how they pay for art and other services related to art (such as classes). Is the funding from sales, admission, philanthropy, government, or another source?