January 5, 2021
From the Field
Arts and Culture in Equitable Community Development
PolicyLink’s newest research, Making Sense of Meaning: How Creative Documentation Enhances Our Understanding of Community Development, is the result of its collaboration with ArtPlace America to explore the strengths that creative documentation brings to traditional research methods. Focusing on the work of the six organizations supported by ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investment program (CDI), PolicyLink outlines how creative documentation has facilitated a deeper understanding of arts and culture in community development and made the research more accessible to general audiences. The report, which includes case studies of both artist researchers within the CDI organizations and PolicyLink’s own process of creative documentation, also offers an overview of the challenges faced and lessons learned. The Community Development Investment program is part of ArtPlace America’s decade-long work on creative, equitable community development. For more information and research, visit ArtPlace America’s newest comprehensive resource, The Role of Arts and Culture in Equitable Community Development: A Visual Analysis.
Vaccine News Is Changing Plans to Visit Cultural Entities in 2021
Impacts Experience, a research firm for the cultural sector, has published an update to its weekly Intent to Visit metric. This predictive behavior metric measures when people are actively planning to visit cultural organizations—especially useful in predicting how they are responding to the pandemic over time. The weekly updates since November, when COVID-19 vaccines were announced, shows that more people are confident the vaccines will give them the safety to return to normal activities.
Theatre Facts 2019
The Theatre Communications Group released its 40th annual Theatre Facts 2019 report, in partnership with researchers at SMU DataArts. With data from a fiscal survey of 129 theatres and 990 forms for 1,953 theatres, the report provides a baseline of theatre activity before the pandemic hit in early 2020. It reveals that the nonprofit theatre sector added more than $2.8 billion to the U.S. economy and estimates that in 2019 the not-for-profit theatre field attracted 38 million audience members.
Foundations Respond to Crisis
The Center for Effective Philanthropy released its second and third reports focusing on how foundations are responding to the COIVD-19 crisis. The second report, Toward Equity? examines responses from more than 200 foundations to better understand whether and how organizations are shifting toward more equitable models of funding during the pandemic. Its third and final report, Toward Greater Flexibility and Responsiveness? focuses on whether flexible funding guidelines and models will be sustained after the pandemic. Together, the research suggests that foundations are moving toward more equitable funding—especially for communities that are more severely impacted by COVID-19—and that they intend to continue this trend after the pandemic subsides. (We covered the first report in the series, A Moment of Transformation? in December).
The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Cultural Engagement
Slover Linett, in partnership with LaPlaca Cohen, published Centering the Picture: The Role of Race & Ethnicity in Cultural Engagement in the U.S. This new report explores how race and ethnicity tie into cultural engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic using the same 124,000 responses collected for the team’s special edition of Culture Track, Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis. The new publication examines the inequitable impact of COVID-19 and how race and ethnicity influence patterns of participation and inclusion and affect digital engagement.
In this Issue
From the President and CEO
State to State
The Research Digest
Announcements and Resources
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