Diversity on Cultural Boards: Implications for Organizational Value and Impact


The study will examine current levels of diversity among arts boards and audiences, and identify factors associated with fostering or inhibiting greater board and audience diversity. The research will utilize the Urban Institute National Survey of Nonprofit Governance, a dataset of 476 arts, culture, and humanities organizations, as well as 4,639 nonprofit organizations in other fields of activity, thus allowing for comparative analysis.   Arts organizations and their supporters have increasingly expressed a commitment to greater diversity.   This study will provide arts organizations, funders, and policymakers with information to help them assess and improve strategies for achieving that goal. The study will extend and enlarge the current line of research and policy interest in arts participation, which has focused on individuals’ attendance, to include membership on boards of arts and cultural organizations, where cultural organizational policy is made. Likewise, it will expand current empirical research on the demographics of cultural participation, which focuses on individuals’ patterns of participation, by shifting the focus from what individuals attend, to whom organizations serve. The project was selected for funding as part of an Inaugural National Endowment for the Arts initiative to award grants for arts research.


Category (Legacy): 
Grant Award
Related Faculty (Legacy): 
Ostrower, Francie
National Endowment for the Arts
Project Duration: 
06/01/2012 – 03/31/2013
Funding Amount: