At the turn of the 21st century, a significant boom in the construction of cultural buildings took saw the creation of hundreds of performing arts centers, theaters, and museums. After these buildings were completed, however, many of these cultural organizations struggled to survive, or, alternatively, drifted off mission as the construction project forced monetary or other considerations to be prioritized. Building Better Arts Facilities: Lessons from a U.S.
This study looks at a major building boom of museums, performing arts centers and theaters in the United States from 1994 to 2008. It is the first scientifically prepared study of its kind and was requested both by cultural leaders and major foundations that had, in many cases, provided support for these building projects. The primary goal of the study was to establish research that would serve as a basic and essential resource for any cultural group in the country involved in planning the construction, renovation, or expansion of their facilities.
Long ago, arts organizations sought patrons primarily from among the rich and well educated, but for many decades they have sought to broaden their audiences. Museums, orchestras, dance companies, theaters, and community cultural centers try to involve a variety of people in the arts. They strive to attract a more racially and ethnically diverse group of people, those from a broader range of economic backgrounds, new immigrants, families and youth.
Chicago's cultural institutions attract millions of visitors every year. What is the connection between the city's major cultural organizations and its diverse population? This study draws upon data – ticket purchases, subscriptions, donor lists – from over 60 organizations to examine how these transactions are linked to the economic, racial, and ethnic data from the Census to provide neighborhood-by-neighborhood maps of participation patterns.