Arts Research with Communities of Color (ARCC)

Grants and Contracts Details


ABSTRACT I plan to spend a year conducting a longitudinal study on arts organizations of color to understand how enterprise activities and entrepreneurship intersect within the creative and cultural industries in the United States. I have conducted two longitudinal research projects, to date, that have found that arts organizations are utilizing enterprise activities, particularly social enterprise activities, to navigate the shrinking resources available to traditional nonprofit structures. I am particularly interested in continuing this work with arts organizations of color, as I have worked with Black women led arts organizations and enterprises in the past and have found that there is a potentially higher interest in entrepreneurial behavior—such as opportunity capitalization, navigating institutional resources at the margins of sectors, and emergent and new forms of entrepreneurial leadership within arts organizations—but a lack of ecosystems of support to erpetuate these activities and, ultimately, build sustainable structures around them. Additionally, previous research in the arts-based entrepreneurial landscape has centered on either individuals or educational programs (Bridgstock, 2013; Toscher,2019; White, 2015, 2019), but there is a dearth of research focused directly on the impact of enterprise orientations within arts organizations that serve specific communities in context. Arts organization leaders are not becoming entrepreneurs yet are orienting their organizations towards enterprising directions to leverage capital they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. Nascent research has found that there are contextual reasons for arts organizations to orient towards enterprising activities, such as: dualistic or pluralistic institutional influences, creative industries marginalization, and organizational embeddedness in a particular community, as some examples (Wells, 2019). My goal with this research study is to investigate where and how arts organizations of color are employing enterprise activities in their organizational life cycles. How does the utilization of enterprise activities influence their organizational ambidexterity and nimbleness to adapt to limiting, changing and volatile economic conditions in the arts and cultural sector today?
Effective start/end date6/1/235/31/24


  • Social Science Research Council: $85,000.00


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