Innovation and Impact

When Arts Organizations Take Risks

Harder and Company Community Research

From 2012 to 2018, more than 100 California arts nonprofits embarked on an even greater number of projects to engage new and diverse participants as part of the Exploring Engagement Fund.

The James Irvine Foundation provided the funding, and our goal was to promote arts engagement for all Californians, with the belief that arts provide a distinct, powerful, and public benefit that helps create a vibrant, inclusive, and compassionate society. We provided risk capital to nonprofit arts organizations to engage populations typically underrepresented as participants in the traditional arts, specifically people of color and low-income residents.

Evaluation of 119 projects over the course of this seven-year initiative confirms the hypothesis that arts nonprofits can be intentional and successful in engaging new and diverse participants.

Source: Foreward