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.
Joanna Woronkowicz, National Opinion Research Center/PhD Candidate, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, presented.
This presentation built on the winter 2010 CPC workshop that introduced the "Cultural Infrastructure in the United States" project, a research effort examining the recent building boom in America’s cultural sector in order to understand its direct and indirect impact on organizations and their communities. The focus of this discussion was on the findings of trends in cultural building in the United States from 1994-2008.
Steven Conn is Professor of History at Ohio State University and Director of Public History there. He is the author of five books including Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926 and most recently Do Museums Still Need Objects?
Joanna Woronkowicz, Ph.D. Candidate, Harris School of Public Policy
Launched in the summer of 2008, Cultural Infrastructure examines the recent building boom in America’s cultural sector. By examining a range and number of culture-related construction ventures, this part of the project focuses on providing an overview of the building activity that occurred in the sector.