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Launching Research: National Arts and Culture 2013

September 24th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Arts and culture activities are an integral part of our communities. These activities have the ability to create more beautiful places to live, contribute to a shared identity, transmit knowledge, contribute to an economy, and much more. For this reason individuals, government organizations and many, many nonprofits exist to support the creation, preservation, and sharing of arts and culture. At Philanthropedia we’re excited to once again focus our research on discovering high-impact nonprofits working in the field of arts and culture.

Revisiting this Research

We first explored the topic of arts and culture on a national scale in 2010. Through that research 144 experts identified 17 top nonprofits in the sector. In order to keep our data relevant, we refresh our research results every 3 years. As we prepare to launch this research again this is a great time to reflect on changes that may have occurred in the sector. Arts funding, for example has changed in many ways. In recent years charitable giving to arts and culture nonprofits raised from 4% of the total charitable giving in 2009 to 5% in 2012 (that is 15.81 billion out of a total $316.23 billion donated in 2012) (Giving USA)Crowd funding sites, like, have also drastically changed arts funding. As opposed to receiving a large grant from a single source, many arts projects are funded online through multiple individual donors. This form of arts funding is so popular that in 2012 Kickstarter funded more arts related projects than the National Endowment for the Arts (Washington Post). There are also ongoing changes in linking art to technology; changing the ways art is created and shared.

Scope of the Research

In this research we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits doing high-impact work in the field of arts and culture on a national or multi-state level, and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to scale and have an impact in the future.

Arts and culture is a diverse field and we encourage experts to consider all of the types of work that nonprofits may be doing to create an impact in this field. Nonprofits can serve any age or demographic and have any budget size.

Focus areas might include:

  • Developing or producing new work
  • Engaging and supporting artists directly
  • Exhibition and performance
  • Increasing arts and culture access for traditionally marginalized populations
  • Offering educational services
  • Preserving and promoting traditional culture
  • Providing arts grants

We are encouraging experts to consider the following types of organizations when making their recommendations:

  • Traditional arts and culture organizations: theatre, dance, music, visual arts, television, media, and film organizations
  • Funders: organizations that fund nonprofit organizations or artists themselves
  • Policy and advocacy organizations: groups that organize people to support arts in the public policy space
  • Educators: schools or organizations that teach arts

Additionally, experts are encouraged to consider the following kinds of arts disciplines:

  • Design and architecture
  • Literary arts (comics, literature, poetry)
  • Media arts (film/video, new media, digital art, interactive computer based art)
  • Music (blues, classical, country, electronic, folk, hip hop, international, jazz, rock/pop)
  • Performing arts (dance, opera, theatre)
  • Visual arts (ceramics, design, fashion, multi-media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, 3D, 2D, fiber arts)

Participation in the Research

If you are an expert (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, government official, etc.) working in arts and culture we’d love to hear from you. You may have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until mid-October 2013. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact Jasmine Marrow at with information about your current position and background, and we would be happy to send the survey to you to include your recommendations.

Additionally, we invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might frame this type of work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, we hope you learned something new and will check in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!



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