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Abstract

The nonprofit arts currently face an environment that challenges the way the arts have grown and raises the prospect of future consolidation. Cognizant of these problems, William Penn Foundation and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance asked RAND to examine the condition of Philadelphia’s arts and culture sector and recommend actions to ensure its sustainability. The authors identify the sources and characteristics of this new environment and describe the ways local arts communities are responding to the challenges confronting them. In the course of their analysis of eleven metropolitan regions, including Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh, they introduce two novel ways of examining the local arts sector. First, they focus on the relationship among the three components of communities’ “arts ecology”: their arts infrastructures; the support systems upon which the arts depend; and the sociodemographic, economic, and the political environment in which they operate. Second, they create a new framework for describing and evaluating the range of support services that communities provide to their arts sectors. They then use this framework to analyze the components of Philadelphia’s arts ecology and assess its specific strengths and weaknesses.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Roots of the Challenges Facing the Nonprofit Arts

  • Chapter Three

    The Ecology of the Arts Sector

  • Chapter Four

    Community Responses

  • Chapter Five

    Philadelphia

  • Appendix

    List of Interviewees by City

Research conducted by

This study was supported by a grant from William Penn Foundation and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and produced under the auspices of RAND Education, a division of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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