A New Framework for Building Participation in the Arts

A New Framework for Building Participation in the Arts

Kevin F. McCarthy
Kimberly Jinnett
Copyright Date: 2001
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 128
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1323wrdf
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  • Book Info
    A New Framework for Building Participation in the Arts
    Book Description:

    Arts organizations across the country are actively expanding their efforts to increase public participation in their programs. This report presents the findings of a RAND study sponsored by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds that looks at the process by which individuals become involved in the arts and attempts to identify ways in which arts institutions can most effectively influence this process. The report presents a behavioral model that identifies the main factors influencing individual decisions about the arts, based on site visits to institutions that have been particularly successful in attracting participants to their programs and in-depth interviews with the directors of more than 100 institutions that have received grants from the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds and the Knight Foundation to encourage greater involvement in the arts. The model and a set of guidelines to help institutions approach the task of participation building constitute a framework that can assist in devising participation-building approaches that fit with an institution's overall purpose and mission, its available resources, and the community environment in which it operates--in other words, a framework that will enable arts institutions to take an integrative approach to building participation in the arts.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3243-0
    Subjects: Education, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. FIGURES
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. SUMMARY
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-6)

    Over the past decade, many arts institutions have been devoting more attention and resources to increasing public participation in their activities. Typically, however, they find themselves in something of a predicament. Their limited resources and staffs make it imperative that they employ participation-building strategies that will be effective, and yet they typically find inadequate guidance, particularly from the existing research literature, on how to proceed. As a result, they often end up using hit-or-miss approaches, which leave them uncertain about why what they tried did or did not work and thus unable to draw general lessons from their experiences. This...

  9. Chapter Two THE PARTICIPATION LITERATURE
    (pp. 7-22)

    The literature on participation generally falls into two categories: empirical studies describing patterns of participation behavior, and theoretical studies seeking to explain that behavior. Both types of studies provide important insights into participation behavior; neither, however, directly addresses the issues facing arts institutions as they attempt to design and implement effective participation-building strategies. This chapter summarizes the key features of the research literature, highlights the key findings, and discusses why the literature fails to provide the needed information.

    Before we begin with these topics, however, two definitional issues must be resolved: How do we define participation in the arts? And...

  10. Chapter Three A BEHAVIORAL MODEL OF PARTICIPATION
    (pp. 23-30)

    The model we created for this research is designed to provide a more complete understanding of the individual decisionmaking process than is currently available in the literature. It is specifically intended to help arts institutions gain a better understanding of that process and thus be able to influence people’s participation decisions. It is predicated on the assumption that one must understand how the decisionmaking process actually works in order to influence people’s behavior. If a behavioral model is to support efforts to influence behavior, it must do more than identify the factors correlated with a specific behavior. It must also...

  11. Chapter Four DEVELOPING STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
    (pp. 31-40)

    The principal advantage of our model over more traditional approaches is that it can help organizations develop more targeted—and therefore more effective—strategies for increasing public participation in their activities. The key point of the model’s effectiveness is the recognition that individuals may be at very different stages of the decisionmaking process, that different factors drive decisions at each of these stages, and thus that the tactics used to influence behavior must be appropriate for the stage of the target population. This chapter develops this point and its implications for developing effective engagement strategies and tactics.

    During our site...

  12. Chapter Five THE NEED FOR AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH
    (pp. 41-52)

    Chapter Four focuses on the specific strategies and tactics organizations might use to build participation based on their participation goals and target populations. But arts organizations also need to consider how building participation fits with their overall purpose and mission, their available resources, and the community environment in which they operate. Given their resource constraints and competing organizational interests, arts organizations must consider all of these factors.

    To balance all these considerations requires an integrative approach, one that begins with the assumption that all of an organization’s key activities should serve its ultimate purpose. Before selecting participation goals and the...

  13. Chapter Six SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 53-58)

    This final chapter presents our conclusions, assembled from the previous chapters, about how arts institutions might best go about their efforts to build public participation in their activities. The salient points concerning effective strategies and the need for an integrative approach are recapped. Also provided is a recap of the guidelines arts organizations should keep in mind as they design and implement their engagement strategies.

    Effective engagement strategies are targeted strategies. The key to developing such strategies is knowing what tactics to use with which target populations and when. The alignment of participation goals, target populations, and participation-building tactics is...

  14. Appendix A SURVEY RESULTS: ORGANIZATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS
    (pp. 59-76)
  15. Appendix B SURVEY RESULTS: PARTICIPATION-BUILDING ACTIVITIES
    (pp. 77-106)
  16. Appendix C SITE VISITS TO FUNDS GRANTEES SELECTED FOR IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS
    (pp. 107-108)
  17. REFERENCES
    (pp. 109-112)