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Rethinking Relevance, Rebuilding Engagement

February 2, 2022

The Culture & Community research series launched with a first wave survey in May of 2020 designed to provide actionable information about changing community needs, contexts, and behaviors to arts and culture organizations during a time of rapid change and uncertainty. This report shares findings from a second wave of the Culture & Community research, collected in May 2021, over a year into the pandemic, and at a point when cases were falling before new variants emerged. This Wave 2 survey tracked changes in key questions from Wave 1 and explored new lines of inquiry. We developed a new series of questions to explore the dynamics of race and identity in cultural engagement, perceptions of systemic racism across the cultural sector, and the roles that Americans want arts and culture organizations to play in addressing social issues. Along with our partners at LaPlaca Cohen and Yancey Consulting, we named the second wave of this initiative Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation to reflect our hope that this difficult period -- one in which the country has faced not just a pandemic but also a long-overdue racial reckoning and intense political polarization -- would be an opportunity for genuine, system-level change.

Centering the Picture: The role of race & ethnicity in cultural engagement in the U.S.

December 16, 2020

"Centering the Picture," released in December 2020, provides an analysis of response patterns by race and ethnicity in the first phase of Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis (CCTC), a national audience and community survey conducted in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors explore how and why Americans of all racial/ethnic groups connect to arts, culture, and creativity; what they need from the sector during times of challenge and change; how they've engaged digitally during the lockdowns; and how they want arts and culture organizations to change. The 56-page report includes an executive summary, introduction, findings, "snapshots" for each racial and ethnic group, a concluding discussion, and several appendices (see below), with a foreword by the distinguished museum educator Esther J. Washington of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.CCTC is a multi-phase research collaboration between Slover Linett and LaPlaca Cohen, with consulting partners Yancey Consulting and a number of expert advisors. Some findings from the study are disseminated as part of LaPlaca Cohen's ongoing Culture Track study; this report builds on the overall Key Findings shared with the field in July 2020 ( Generous support for Wave 1 was provided by the Wallace Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art, Art Bridges, FocusVision, and Microsoft Corporation. Upcoming phases will also be supported by the Barr Foundation, William Penn Foundation, and Institute for Museum and Library Services.The authors welcome questions and comments at

Setting the Stage for Community Change: Reflecting on Creative Placemaking Outcomes

November 2, 2016

As interest in measuring and understanding the impact of arts investments in community development continues to grow, this new study, Setting the Stage for Community Change: Reflecting on Creative Placemaking Outcomes, commissioned by the Levitt Foundation and led by Slover Linett Audience Research, examines how "creative placemaking" interventions build social capital in communities, using permanent outdoor Levitt music venues as case studies. This research offers insights into arts-based strategies to promote social connectivity, a central goal of many creative placemaking efforts, and is a working illustration of what can and can't be learned from different impact measurement approaches.

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.

Campus Art Museums in the 21st Century: A Conversation

October 31, 2012

In the summer of 2012, the authors of this study brought together a group of campus art museum directors and outside experts to 'think out loud' about the changes already occurring at campus museums and where new opportunities and roles may be emerging. We hope the resulting paper will further the field's larger, continuing exploration of its roles and potentials through dialogue, research, and experimentation -- an exploration that contributes to the continued healthy evolution of campus art museum practice.