New Wallace Foundation survey: how 25 arts groups are rethinking their values

Posted on: October 21, 2021

“A new study funded by the Wallace Foundation updates the views of the 25 organizations participating in the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative, who were canvassed before the pandemic, 2016-2019,” writes Sarah Shay in Wednesday’s (10/20) Musical America (subscription required). “Wallace reports all were ‘well-established and white-led.’ And while all at the time felt their organizations should continue, most also saw a need to become more involved with their local communities. The pandemic has only strengthened that view. A few other highlights include: In addition to their artistic value and contributions to their art form, a large portion of the organizations (40 percent) suggested that significant changes were needed in order for their organization to continue. An organization … may … need to redefine and expand its notions of ‘audience,’ and overcome ‘traditional hierarchies in which community engagement programs and participants are viewed as secondary or utilitarian…. In many cases … a change in leadership helped facilitate a deeper level of community engagement and orientation. The study was prepared by France Ostrower, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Senior Fellow at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, and her staff.” The report is available free of charge at https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Why-Is-It-Important-That-We-Continue.pdf.