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New Report Released Addressing Organizational Sustainability

"This report is an attempt to capture a snapshot of a thousand living organisms, a collection of individual stories and statistics that celebrate the richness of our differences while still offering the possibility of shared lessons."

The Alliance of Artists Communities is thrilled to release the publication of “Surviving to Thriving: Sustaining Artist Residencies.” This report, with generous support from The Kresge Foundation, is the result of two years of research into the capacity, challenges, and successful practices of artist residency centers.

While the study addresses issues that are particularly relevant for nonprofits based in the U.S., we believe that other arts organizations operating under different structures and/or outside the U.S. will find much of the data, examples, and essays in this study compelling as well.

Organizational sustainability is often focused on finances, though we approached this work with the belief that sustainability is also deeply connected to an organization’s culture, constituents, and community. In addition to information and examples from 157 organizations on funding, personnel, governance, programming, property, environment, and priorities, the report includes case studies of four very different artist residency centers – 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica, CA), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Escape to Create (Seaside, FL), and Hedgebrook (Whidbey Island, WA) – conducted by the Urban Institute, with principal investigator Maria Rosario Jackson.

This report is an attempt to capture a snapshot of a thousand living organisms, a collection of individual stories and statistics that celebrate the richness of our differences while still offering the possibility of shared lessons. And this report is just a beginning – an invitation to our colleagues to explore together how the organizations we steward can do more than just survive, but truly thrive.

Our thanks to The Kresge Foundation for their partnership and support of this project, and to the dozens of collaborators who have contributed to date.

Download the report or purchase print copies at www.artistcommunities.org/sustainability.