Ostrower, Francie | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Yale University
Research Areas
  • Arts and Cultural Participation
  • Nonprofit Governance
  • Philanthropy
Teaching Areas
  • Finance, Management and Leadership (including Nonprofits)

Francie Ostrower is a professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and College of Fine Arts, director of the Portfolio Program in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship jointly sponsored by the College of Fine Arts and the LBJ School, and a senior fellow in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. She is principal investigator of the Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative: Research and Evaluation, a six-year study of audience-building activities by performing arts organizations commissioned and funded by The Wallace Foundation through grants totaling $4.3 million.

Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin in 2008, Dr. Ostrower was senior research associate at the Urban Institute and prior to that a sociology faculty member at Harvard University. She has been a visiting professor at IAE de Paris/Sorbonne Graduate Business School and is an Urban Institute-affiliated scholar. She has authored numerous publications on philanthropy, nonprofit governance, and arts and cultural participation that have received awards from the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and Independent Sector. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Aspen Institute, among others. Recent professional activities include serving as a board member and president of ARNOVA and on the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly board, and the academic advisory committee of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Media Expertise
  • Non-Profit Management and Governance
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Philanthrophy


NewsOctober 19, 2021
Why is it important that we continue? Some nonprofit arts organizations rethink their value in challenging times

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofit arts organizations were facing challenges, including declining or stagnant audiences across multiple art forms, causing many to question the very value of their existence. This was certainly true for the 25 organizations in Wallace's Building Audiences for Sustainability (BAS) initiative, which ran from 2016 through 2019.

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NewsFebruary 25, 2021
Attracting millennial audiences to arts organizations requires diverse strategies, LBJ's Ostrower finds

In her third report for The Wallace Foundation, LBJ Professor Francie Ostrower finds that arts organizations need to employ more than a one-size-fits-all approach to build millennial audiences.

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NewsJuly 16, 2020
Report: Data and deliberation are a dynamic duo for arts organizations

New report for The Wallace Foundation by LBJ Professor Francie Ostrower examines the challenges and rewards of a data-based approach to understanding arts audiences.

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