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In our May newsletter, CultureSource introduced the initial stages of our work on a new research agenda. We continue to see evidence that we’re headed in the right direction as more members indicate a need for data to support their work and the decisions they are making as they tackle new complex challenges on the other side of the pandemic crisis.

Moving forward, research will be one of my new focus areas, along with Njeri Rutherford, our new programs and research coordinator. We are receiving expert guidance from our research partners—8 Bridges Workshop, Indiana University’s Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Innovation Lab, and WolfBrown—and discovering the importance of continuously probing the “who, what, whys, and hows” of our research initiatives. Njeri will also participate in a fellowship with WolfBrown to determine new research projects and do the thoughtful work necessary to present impactful reports. It’s an educational work in progress that we hope will be of additional benefit and value to you and your work.

Our Research Summit in March provided some ideas for future research that include a study of the economic impact of arts and culture in Southeast Michigan, and more recent conversations with our partners has highlighted the need to examine the state of artists and cultural organizations in the current context of social and economic factors influencing long-term viability. As Omari would say, more soon!

In the meantime, we’ve been reading some of the latest research reports from our sector peers that have been guiding our thinking about support for the region and future studies.

If you have any questions about any of our work, membership, or research, or would like to schedule some time to chat, please let me know.

Kim Howard

Director of Community & Culture


Arts Vibrancy Map
SMU DataArts

SMU DataArts and the National Center for Arts Research has compiled an interactive map of every US county that measures arts vibrancy. The map also highlights the top 10 small, medium and large arts hubs—of which Ann Arbor is listed this year.


Harnessing Data for an Inclusive Workplace
SMU DataArts

The results of the SMU DataArts spring 2023 workforce demographic survey are in, and they come with a set of recommendations for fostering inclusion at arts organizations. The report highlights the importance of tolerance for self identification, trust, and better segmenting of demographic groups to understand the unique challenges faced by different groups.


Berkshire and Columbia Counties Pay Equity Project
The Berkshire Edge

“Passion doesn’t pay the rent,” says a new study measuring pay disparities in the regional New England arts sector. The report shows a staggering number of arts and culture employers do not have a plan to address pay equity in the near future. The report makes a series of recommendations to address this, such as the elimination of unpaid internships, unpaid overtime, and pay transparency.


Federal Judge Rules AI Artwork Not Copyright Eligible
The New York Times

A D.C. District Court judge declined to extend copyright eligibility to artwork generated by artificial intelligence, stating that human authorship is a critical requirement for copyright.