Cover: Arts and Culture in the Metropolis

Arts and Culture in the Metropolis

Strategies for Sustainability

Published Feb 26, 2007

by Kevin F. McCarthy, Elizabeth Heneghan Ondaatje, Jennifer L. Novak

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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.

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.

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