Entering Cultural Communities, Entering Cultural Communities, 0813542162, 0-8135-4216-2, 978-0-8135-4216-4, 9780813542164, , Rutgers Series: The Public Life of the Arts, Entering Cultural Communities, 0813542170, 0-8135-4217-0, 978-0-8135-4217-1, 9780813542171, , Rutgers Series: The Public Life of the Arts, Entering Cultural Communities, 0813544955, 0-8135-4495-5, 978-0-8135-4495-3, 9780813544953, , Rutgers Series: The Public Life of the Arts, Entering Cultural Communities, 0813578752, 0-8135-7875-2, 97
Entering Cultural Communities

Diversity and Change in the Nonprofit Arts
Diane Grams (Editor), Betty Farrell (Editor)
292 pages, 19, 6.25 x 9.25
Cloth, March 2008 $70.00   ADD TO CART
Paper, March 2008 $28.95   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, March 2008 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, March 2008 $24.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Series: Rutgers Series: The Public Life of the Arts
Subject Area:
Art, Music, and Architecture, Sociology


Arts organizations once sought patrons primarily from among the wealthy and well educated, but for many decades now they have revised their goals as they seek to broaden their audiences. Today, museums, orchestras, dance companies, theaters, and community cultural centers try to involve a variety of people in the arts. They strive to attract a more racially and ethnically diverse group of people, those from a broader range of economic backgrounds, new immigrants, families, and youth.

The chapters in this book draw on interviews with leaders, staff, volunteers, and audience members from eighty-five nonprofit cultural organizations to explore how they are trying to increase participation and the extent to which they have been successful. The insiders' accounts point to the opportunities and challenges involved in such efforts, from the reinvention of programs and creation of new activities, to the addition of new departments and staff dynamics, to partnerships with new groups. The authors differentiate between "relational" and "transactional" practices, the former term describing efforts to build connections with local communities and the latter describing efforts to create new consumer markets for cultural products. In both cases, arts leaders report that, although positive results are difficult to measure conclusively, long-term efforts bring better outcomes than short-term activities.

The organizations discussed include large, medium, and small nonprofits located in urban, suburban, and rural areas—from large institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the San Francisco Symphony to many cultural organizations that are smaller, but often known nationally for their innovative work, such as AS220, The Loft Literary Center, Armory Center for the Arts, Appalshop, and the Western Folklife Center.

Author / Editor Bio

Diane Grams, a sociologist and former museum director, directed this project through the Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago.

Betty Farrell, associate director of the M.A. Program in Social Sciences and senior lecturer at The University of Chicago, works on the sociology of culture.


Diane Grams, Betty Farrell, D. Carroll Joynes, David Karraker, Morris Fred, Wendy Norris


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