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To measure the changing needs of the Southeast Michigan arts sector during the ongoing health crisis, CultureSource commissioned WolfBrown to compile a capitalization needs assessment that will support data-driven decision making at organization and systems levels.

This report—a follow-up to the first one we commissioned in April 2020—is one aspect CultureSource’s ongoing support of creative activity. It is our strategic effort, in real time, to understand what is happening and give our member organizations, artists, partners, and sector stakeholders tools to respond.

Key Takeaways
  • CultureSource must increase our capacity to do local and regional coalition building work—preparing to mobilize (government) resources during the next crisis
  • The sector must produce even more compelling rationale for policy, patronage, and philanthropy not exacerbating troubling contrasts between what the study cites as “haves’ and ‘have nots”
  • CultureSource will double down on our offerings of adaptive leadership and change management trainings
  • Monthly and special convenings of sector CEOs and senior staff may be used to help leaders overcome weariness and embrace the urgency to evolve
  • Greater attention must be devoted to arts education, creative youth development, independent creative workers, and arts enterprises highly dependent on earned revenue. Avenues to build resiliency will likely include special capacity initiatives, proactive outreach, and new research to identify solutions
  • Take every opportunity—though complex and time-consuming—to promote and support institutional partnerships: in funding, programming, and research and development
  • We must explore innovative opportunities to offer centralized services and support to workers in cultural institutions—helping them remain and thrive in our region’s creative community
Our Response

Over the next several months we will be using the key takeaways from this report to guide our programmatic focus in a way that meets the evolving needs of the sector. We have already begun developing the next iterations of several programs such as Digital Access for the Arts which will continue to support arts organizations in exploring digital arts experiences and virtual programming.

Please feel free to be in touch with our CultureSource team as you have follow-up questions about this report or would like to work alongside us.

Thank You

CultureSource wishes to extend our heartfelt thanks to WolfBrown for their continued partnership. Whenever we have a question about the current or future state of the arts and culture sector, we have reliably been able to engage Alan Brown and others on the team as flexible, highly-skilled, and high-integrity partners.