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Hearts and Minds: The Arts and Civic Engagement

March 28, 2017

This study of existing research gathers compelling evidence that people who participate in the arts are more likely to be active in their communities and to be making a difference in the lives of others. Further, it shows how arts nonprofits may have natural advantages in helping people achieve new levels of understanding, empathy, and adaptation — critical capacities for civic engagement as well as acceptance and connection across class, race, heritage, or immigration status.

Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras' Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians

September 1, 2016

This report, commissioned by the League of American Orchestras, is the first systematic effort to review the record of those fellowships from the perspectives of the orchestras and the musicians who have participated in them. Until now there has been no single source for information about which orchestras conducted fellowships, when they were conducted, and how many musicians were fellows. This report answers important questions about what happened to fellows across all the programs after their fellowships were completed: Did they successfully compete for orchestra jobs? Did their careers take other paths? It also provides a view of their experiences as fellows: How did they benefit from the experience? What kinds of problems did they experience? Until now, no data has been collected that reflects the judgment of orchestra leaders and other experts about the dynamics of launching and managing a fellowship program. Through the frame of these fellowship programs, what can be learned about broader diversity issues for orchestras? For the first time, we are able to present the following information and analysis:* The first section of this report, "Forty Years of Fellowships," presents all available program and impact data relating to orchestra fellowships, from 1976 to the present day. It reflects documentation supplied by orchestras themselves, following a scoping survey of League members, and the results of supplemental web research. It identifies the orchestras that have had fellowships, counts the fellows, and reviews the elements that are characteristic of fellowship programs. It defines the fundamental characteristics of fellowship programs, notes three different basic models, tracks career outcomes for fellows, and explores the cost and financing of fellowship programs.* The second section, "Forty Years of Fellows," explores the perspectives of musicians who have been fellows over the years. Interviews with 21 fellowship program alumni were conducted, including one or more fellows from every fellowship program.* The third section, "Fellowship/Leadership: Voices of Experience," examines the perspectives of orchestra leaders, program managers, and a few outside experts as they reflect on the dynamics of fellowship programs, their value for orchestras, and the place of fellowships within the larger challenge of making orchestras more inclusive and diverse institutions.

The Rockefeller Foundation Program NYC Cultural Innovation Fund: Evaluation

October 1, 2013

The Rockefeller Foundation launched the NYC Cultural Innovation Fund (CIF) in2007. Since then, it has supported six rounds of annual grantmaking, resulting in99 grants to 86 nonprofit cultural and community organizations in New York City.Grants across the six years 2007–2012 totaled $16.3 million.An Evaluation Team headed by Helicon Collaborative assessed CIF for the periodDecember 2012 to May 2013 based on Terms of Reference issued by the RockefellerFoundation in September 2012.

A Laboratory for Relevance: Findings and Recommendations from the Arts Innovation Fund

December 5, 2012

Starting in 2006, a group of leading California arts institutions set out to innovate with new ways of working in the 21st century. With support from the Arts Innovation Fund of The James Irvine Foundation, they approached the challenge of innovation in a variety of ways, with a wide range of objectives and results. Across the board, the experimentation process prompted organizational reflection and change. Most grantees developed new levels of adaptive capacity, an attribute that many thought leaders believe will be essential for arts organizations, and the arts sector as a whole, to thrive into the future. After a strategic qualitative review of the innovation projects pursued by organizations participating in the Arts Innovation Fund, the Slover Linett evaluation team offers the following report with its insights and recommendations.

Teaching Artists Research Project

September 1, 2011

There have been remarkable advances in arts education, both in and out of schools, over the last fifteen years, despite a difficult policy environment. Teaching artists, the hybrid professionals that link the arts to education and community life, are the creative resource behind much of this innovation. Their best efforts are redefining the roles the arts play in public education. Their work is central to arts organizations' strategies for civic engagement and diverse audiences. Excellent research has shown that arts education is instrumental to the social, emotional, and cognitive development of thousands of young people. But little is known about teaching artists. The Teaching Artists Research Project (TARP) deepens our understanding of world of teaching artists through studies in twelve communities, and it will inform policy designed to make their work sustainable, more effective, and more meaningful. A dozen study sites were selected where funding was available to support exploration of the local conditions and dynamics in arts education: Boston, Seattle, Providence, and eight California communities (San Francisco/Alameda County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Salinas, and Humboldt County). A thorough literature review was conducted, and NORC conducted stakeholder meetings and focus groups, identified key issues and began designing a multi-methods study that would include surveys for both artists and program managers as well as in-depth interviews of stakeholders -- teaching artists, program managers, school officials, classroom teachers and arts specialists, principals, funders, and arts educators in a wide variety of venues.There are no professional associations and no accreditation for teaching artists, so a great deal of time was spent building a sample of teaching artists and program managers in every study site. The survey instrument was developed and tested, and then fielded on-line in the study sites sequentially, beginning in Chicago, and ending with the southern California sites. To assure a reliable response rate, online surveys were supplemented by a telephone survey. Lists of potential key informants were accumulated for each site, and interviewers were recruited, hired, and trained in each site. Most of the interviewers were teaching artists themselves, and many had significant field knowledge and familiarity with the landscape of arts education in their community. The surveys collected data on some fundamental questions:Who are teaching artists?Where do they work? Under what terms and conditions?What sort of education have they had?How are they hired and what qualifications do employers look for?How much do they make?How much experience do they have?What drew them to the field? What pushes them out?What are their goals?Qualitative interviews with a subsample of survey respondents and key informants delved deeply into the dynamics and policies that drive arts education, the curricula and pedagogy teaching artists bring to the work, and personal histories of some artists. The interviews gathered more detailed information on the local character of teaching artist communities, in-depth descriptions and narratives of teaching artists' experiences, and followed up on items or issues that arose in preliminary analysis of the quantitative survey data. These conversations illuminated the work teaching artists believe is their best and identified the kinds of structural and organizational supports that enable work at the highest level. The interview process explored key areas with the artists, such as how to best develop their capacities, understand the dynamics between their artistic and educational practice, and how to keep them engaged in the field. Another critical topic explored during these conversations was how higher education can make a more meaningful and strategic contribution toward preparing young artists to work in the field. The TARP report includes serious reflection on the conditions and policies that have affected arts education in schools, particularly over the last thirty years, a period of intense school reform efforts and consistent erosion of arts education for students. The report includes new and important qualitative data about teaching artists, documenting their educational background, economic status, the conditions in which they work, and their goals as artists and educators. It also includes new insights about how learning in the arts is associated with learning in general, illuminating findings from other studies that have suggested a powerful connection between arts education and positive outcomes for students in a wide range of domains.

Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation

February 1, 2011

This report, commissioned from the NORC at the University of Chicago, investigates the relationship between arts education and arts participation, based on data from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts for 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2008. The report also examines long-term declines in Americans' reported rates of arts learning -- in creative writing, music, and the visual arts, among other disciplines. Authors Nick Rabkin and E.C. Hedberg find that the declines are not distributed evenly across all racial and ethnic groups.