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Insights for Data-Driven Decision Making

To help identify and embrace contemporary culture at its core and edges, CultureSource provides timely and relevant research to understand the core being of our field as well as emerging trends and new advancements.

We regularly engage in practices of research and learning in order to build field knowledge and enhance our work of convening and grantmaking. In our portfolio of research activities, we are part of a research lab and have partnerships with arts research firms locally and nationally.

Our Research Partners
Audience Attitudes & Preferences

Our seven-part workshop series is designed to help people working at arts and culture organizations question, challenge, and expand their knowledge on current trends in the online cultural space. Intended to be supportive and empowering, all workshops will be followed by 30-minute hack sessions, where participants will learn skills to enhance their work in the digital landscape.

Learning Documents

We periodically publish what we’re learning to offer affirming, challenging, or educational insights to stakeholders in our field. We also hope findings can serve as calls to action—inspiring activism and increased engagement from arts allies and supporters.

What We're Reading

Opportunities to Support Artists’ Ability to Thrive
Fractured Atlas

Identifying opportunities to improve the social safety net for artists, propel cultural equity by benefiting artists who are currently left out of the existing artist support systems, and build the collective power of artists.

Arts Organizations Grow Staff Despite Challenging Conditions
SMU DataArts

Attracting, retaining, and cultivating a strong workforce is a key priority for every organization. But how has the cultural workforce fared through the ups and downs of the labor market over the last few years?

Evolution of Our Research Pillar

February 2020

CultureSource forms a research partnership with the Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Lab (part of the Center Cultural Affairs at Indiana University), funded through the National Endowment for the Arts.

March 2020

CultureSource and WolfBrown initiate a new partnership centered around understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on organizations, audiences, and the broader cultural sector.

April 2020

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan supplies CultureSource and WolfBrown with a rapid-response grant to commission a capitalization needs assessment, and other related research that would support data-driven decision-making at organization and systems levels.

May 2020

CultureSource and WolfBrown begin the Covid-19 Audience Outlook Monitor study to measure the impact of the pandemic on audience attitudes.

July 2020

CultureSource and WolfBrown publish preliminary findings from a capitalization needs assessment, conducted to understand the needs of organizations in crisis.

September 2021

CultureSource hosts its first virtual research summit with arts program officers and researchers to dialogue about findings, experiences, and future questions about the regional and national cultural sector.

October 2021

CultureSource publishes the results of a digital capacity survey, commissioned in partnership with the Gilbert Family Foundation, 8 Bridges Workshop, and Koven J. Smith Consulting.

February 2022

CultureSource convenes arts program officers and researchers to discuss the enduring impact of the pandemic on arts finances. Special guests include Susan Nelson (TDC), Jen Benoit-Bryan (Slover Linett), Alan Brown (WolfBrown), Sunil Iyengar (NEA), and Michael Orlove (NEA).

March 2022

CultureSource and WolfBrown publish the capitalization needs assessment, a strategic survey conducted in real-time to understand lasting pandemic impacts and give our member organizations, artists, partners, and sector stakeholders tools to respond.

September 2022

CultureSource reconvenes a group of arts program officers and researchers for a third virtual research summit, alongside special guests Claire Rice (Illinois Arts Alliance), Doug Noonan (Indiana University, AEI Lab), Ryan Stubbs (National Assembly of State Arts Agencies), Nina Tunceli-Ozlu (Americans for the Arts).

January 2023

CultureSource and 8 Bridges Workshop publish findings from a research cohort that assessed the needs of arts organizations as they worked to adapt their programming to online environments.

May 2023

CultureSource hosts its first in-person research summit since the pandemic. Alongside WolfBrown, we convened local and national leaders in arts research at the Motown Mansion to discuss emerging trends and developing a research agenda.

May 2023

8Bridges workshop and CultureSource begin a study of organizations granted funds through Detroit Arts Support, aiming to measure the common needs and challenges at nonprofits of all size throughout the region.

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