Intermedia Arts, in conjunction with Americans for the Arts / Animating Democracy commissioned this national study of local arts agencies to assess community arts activity and training opportunities. The study was conducted by William Cleveland and the Center for the Study of Art and Community, and the study cohort was comprised of leadership from 423 local arts agencies who had previously indicated their interest and/or involvement in community arts programming in the 2015 Americans for the Arts Local Arts Agency Census.
The study's purpose was two-fold: to provide a greater understanding of the demand and availability of arts-based community development training; and to investigate how the benefits of Intermedia Arts' Creative Community Leadership Institute could be made accessible for a broader range of communities.
Key findings show:
- There is both a need for, and high interest in, training for people working at the intersection of arts and community transformation, yet there is a low level of awareness of resources.
- Among local arts agencies in the study, there is a growing trend to focus more deeply on community engagement and development.
- Cross-sector relationships are becoming more prevalent among arts agencies, and the impetus for these relationships is coming from both the arts and non-arts sectors.
- There is strong interest in the integration of arts into the functions of municipal government.
- Local arts agencies are involved in a myriad of issues from education to economic development, land use to food and agriculture, public safety to civic participation, and more.
Part two of this study is a field scan of training and support opportunities related to community arts in the U.S. The aim was to develop a descriptive outline of program types, so this scan should not be considered a comprehensive inventory of such programs.