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Research Opportunities in the Arts

A multi-year effort, focusing on arts organizations founded by and for communities of color, is expected to produce more than 40 new studies ​
Four young ballerinas pose for a fellow ballerina's camera.


Learning is central to the Wallace philanthropic strategy. In the new arts initiative, we seek to build understanding about how arts organizations founded by, for, and with communities of color define and advance their organizational well-being. The initiative has three major programmatic foci of activity:​

1. 18 larger BIPOC Arts Organizations funded to design and implement four-year projects intended to enhance their organizational well-being. 2. 200+ smaller BIPOC Arts Organizations across the U.S., funded to advance their well-being. 3. 10+ Arts Service Organizations working with BIPOC artists and arts organizations to lead research that can advance their work.

There is a strong research program attached to this initiative, which is expected to produce more than 40 new studies about different aspects of the arts ecosystem in which arts organizations of color are vital builders and contributors. Research opportunities include: ​

  1. Cross-Site Project Studies​. As the 18 Wallace-funded arts organizations​ implement their projects, studies will investigate specific issues that arts organizations are addressing in their local cultural and historical context. Examples could include topics such as: developing values-aligned business models, planning for founding leadership transitions, and place-making/keeping in the context of gentrification. ​
  2. Community Development through the Arts Studies​ (Deadline has passed). Arts organizations and/or community development organizations founded by, with or for communities of color working, in partnership with researchers, are invited to propose studies designed to produce insights into the depth, breadth, and texture of community cultural development approaches designed to support the well-being of communities of color through the arts. 
  3. Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs) with BIPOC Arts Organizations​ (Proposals due April 22, 2024​). Academic scholars are invited to propose RPP Planning projects or Full RPP studies in partnership with arts organizations founded by, with, or for communities of color to address shared questions that are of interest to participants and of importance to the field and to scholarship. RPPs will include funds for post-doctoral researchers.​ ​
  4. Field Studies led by Arts Service Organizations serving BIPOC Arts Organizations and Artist Networks-Round III (Optional Letters of Intent to Submit due February 23, 2024; proposals due May 20, 2024). Arts service organizations are invited to submit planning, implementation, or expansion research proposals that address questions important to their work and/or to that of their constituencies while advancing knowledge about the larger arts ecosystem.​ 
  5. Research on Regranting Funds to Small BIPOC Arts Organizations​​​.​ This study is being led by Creative Equity Research Partners (CERP) who will document how the nation's six Regional Arts Organizations adopt more inclusive and equitable grant-making practices as they regrant some $12M to 100+ smaller arts organizations funded as part of the initiative. The study will attend commonalities as well as variations across regions.​ ​

If you have any questions about the research, please write to


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