From START to Finish: Lessons from The Wallace Foundation’s Work with State Arts Agencies – An Arts Participation Report

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 From START to Finish: Lessons from The Wallace Foundation’s Work with State Arts Agencies

Appendix A: Original Grant Goals and Strategies - From START to Finish 1







The Arizona Commission on the Arts will increase knowledge and understanding of the research, critical thinking, trends and practices that foster cultural participation both among its internal board and staff, as well as among groups and individuals participating in its programs. Enhanced knowledge will enable the board, staff and peer consultants to better communicate the value of investing in arts participation to policymakers and the public.

  • Staff and consultants conduct an agency
  • Train staff, peer consultants and practitioners.
  • Focus annual conferences on the theme of participation.
  • Provide funding for some trainees’ new ideas.
  • Publish case studies.



The California Arts Council will create an Arts Marketing Institute that will promote audience participation through research, technical assistance and information dissemination. This process will lead to the adoption of effective strategies to manage the growth of new arts centers/performing venues in relation to their audience potential and revision of grant guidelines to require applicants to define strategies to increase participation.

  • Work with other state agencies to research arts audiences and resources to create a statewide cultural map.
  • Convene six regional meetings about participation and an annual statewide marketing conference.
  • Conduct an annual publicity campaign to promote visibility of the arts.



The Connecticut Commission on the Arts will enhance practices for building participation through a new pilot program involving partnerships with 24 social service agencies, 40 arts organizations and 20 schools. The new program, titled Urban Arts Initiative will improve staff training on participation building, create a user manual for arts organizations, establish benchmarks for the effectiveness of arts groups in building participation and create a web page documenting and dissemination lessons on effective practice.

  • Create benchmarks for assessing participation among grantees.
  • Create arts professional training for benchmarks.
  • Design and implement a professional development program for participation building.
  • Develop roster of high quality participation building mentors and technical assistant providers.
  • Create Urban Arts Initiative web page.
  • Conduct annual conferences for arts managers on participation building.



The Kentucky Arts Council (KAC) will work...with the state’s local and regional arts organizations to develop new standards and practices that enhance the capacity of the state’s arts organizations to expand participation in the arts. KAC will invest in new research to better understand state participation in the arts, staff training and leadership development to increase knowledge and application of best participation-building practices. Documentation and dissemination of best practices for building participation will take place through statewide conferences, the internet and publications.

  • Review an assessment of all arts council funding programs.
  • Establish a set of best practices for arts participation for organizational support programs.
  • Train council staff in assessment model based on best practices.
  • Create new grants category for new projects to increase participation in the arts.
  • Establish an annual best practices training course for grant seekers.
  • Document and distribute results via statewide conferences, expanded web communications and print media.
  • Create and maintain a new database system to collect statewide participation data.



The Massachusetts Cultural Council will work with its network of 160 statewide local cultural councils to implement grantmaking standards and practices that enhance participation in the arts. Working with partners such as the Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Project, the agency will enhance technical assistance for arts organizations, improve statewide research on participation and create a comprehensive toolkit for arts managers on effective participation building.

  • Conduct a survey of cultural organizations to establish baseline data on existing arts participation.
  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review on effective practice for building participation.
  • Establish a statewide advisory committee to assist in project planning.
  • Carry out an organizational capacity-building assessment to identify existing needs and resources in participation building.
  • Work with Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Project to establish capitalization needs for state cultural organizations.
  • Implement staff training program to enhance understanding and practical knowledge of participation building.
  • Create a professional development series to train local cultural council staff on effective participation building strategies.



The Minnesota State Arts Board will partner with Minnesota’s 11 regional arts councils and arts organizations across the state to implement programs that will bring the arts to new audiences, enrich the experience of current audiences and foster the exchange of participation-building strategies and techniques. The arts board will coordinate leadership training for its staff and the directors of the regional arts councils, refine and reinforce its standards for monitoring audience development efforts, and revise program guidelines and reporting systems to gather more detailed information about arts audiences.

  • Coordinate leadership training for arts board staff and regional arts council directors.
  • Conduct 14 training workshops for leaders of 250 arts organizations.
  • Revise arts board and regional arts council guidelines to reflect refined standards for monitoring audience development efforts.
  • Make small grants to participating organizations to design and implement participation-building projects.
  • Publish and distribute information about participation-building best practices.
  • Convene a meeting of all participating organizations to plan future statewide participation-building strategies.



The Mississippi Arts Commission will conduct research on current and potential arts audiences, for-profit cultural resources and the practices of arts organizations to identify and operate new grantmaking strategies that will best help grow participation. Funded activities will include review of best practices in participation building, examination of participation in Mississippi, assessment of arts organizations current expertise, study of the commercial arts industry, analysis of the arts commission’s current strategies and development and implementation of grantmaking and training programs.

  • Conduct research on arts audiences and amateur artists in Mississippi to develop grant programs that enhance arts participation and strengthen the quality of amateur work.
  • Conduct research on the state’s commercial arts industry and its potential to develop grant programs that form partnerships between nonprofit and for-profit arts groups in efforts to grow participation.
  • Analyze best practices in participation building and arts organizations current levels of expertise to develop and implement training programs to boost their skills.



The Montana Arts Council (MAC) will revise and expand current grant programs, provide training opportunities for grantees and other groups, and publish and distribute case studies of participation- building efforts of five grantee organizations. The arts council will involve members of the Montana state legislature as proposal review panelists.

  • Revise grant program review criteria to emphasize lasting partnerships among community organizations, tribal groups, for-profit partners, religious and service organizations and artists and arts organizations.
  • Distribute multi-year grants for up to 15 organizations to expand participation by enhancing public programs, building capacity and strengthening community partnerships with businesses and community organizations.
  • Select five participating organizations to serve as demonstration sites, sharing their experiences with colleagues at annual meetings, forums and workshops."



The New Jersey State Council on the Arts will analyze audience data, implement new information gathering and analysis systems, provide technical assistance for arts organizations, refine its policies and evaluation criteria, and refine and expand grant programs to increase their impact on public participation in the arts. The goal of this grant is to create more effective governmental arts agencies on the state and local level, that support a wider array of programs that engage more diverse people in arts activities that have a deeper impact on their lives.

  • Organize planning process with the state’s
    21 county arts agencies and 7 regional folk
    arts centers.
  • Implement new systems of audience information gathering and analysis through grant reports and independent research.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to improve board and staff skills at NJSCA, its partner organizations and arts groups statewide.
  • Review current funding programs and evaluation procedures to emphasize effective use of valid data to set better standards and clearer criteria.
  • Design and implement an annual program of participation-focused grant support to county arts agencies.



The North Carolina Arts Council will strengthen its capacity, and that of partner arts groups and local arts councils, to increase and enhance local arts participation. Arts providers will receive training, financial support and technical assistance to adopt and practice new standards for engaging audiences and participants. These standards will also be thoroughly integrated into the grantmaking policies, behaviors and practices of the North Carolina Arts Council.

  • Six consultants will be trained to provide technical assistance to a target group of 50
    arts organizations.
  • Participating arts organizations will attend a two-day training session.
  • After they receive training, the arts organizations will be eligible for implementation and technical assistance
  • North Carolina arts funders will be convened to share information and promote participation efforts.
  • A culminating meeting of all participants will be held and made available to arts professionals statewide via teleconference.
  • The North Carolina Arts Council will revise its guidelines, report forms, data collection efforts and staff structure to reflect its core value of promoting participation.



The Ohio Arts Council will conduct research, disseminate the findings of current reports, expand and enhance grant programs and provide technical assistance to arts groups to increase public access to high-quality cultural experiences. The council will evaluate and revise its programs to reflect the findings of the recent research, The State of the Arts Report 2000. This report shows that many citizens participate in arts and cultural activities through non-arts organizations such as faith-based institutions and community festivals.

  • Create effective statewide strategies for building participation through implementation of recent research and staff training.
  • Develop, test and deploy online tools and resources to bolster the organizational capacity of smaller arts organizations and link them with online professional development workshops, classes, funding opportunities, periodicals and other resources.
  • Enhance the Community Development Initiative that helps connect communities’ arts activity to civic and economic resources.
  • Develop a new grant program that provides support to regional programs that directly address findings from The State of the Arts Report 2000. Funded projects may include community-wide arts marketing and promotion efforts or projects that build strong relationships between arts groups and school districts.



The South Carolina Arts Commission will increase its capacity, and that of arts organizations throughout the state, to engage and involve new participants in the arts by conducting research and disseminating the results, offering training programs, revising its programs and guidelines, providing direct support for two or three demonstration projects, and documenting and disseminating case studies of successful participation-building efforts.

  • Review and revise agency practices to improve public access, deepen understanding of and connections with various constituencies and promote broader participation in the arts throughout the state.
  • Develop a learning community among arts organizations participating in training workshops by maintaining regular telephone contact, frequent site visits and an e-mail listserv.
  • Support several long-term Whole Community participation initiatives that grow out of collaborations among organizations that participate in training workshops.
  • Conduct research into South Carolina arts audiences and engage consulting expertise to create a participation curriculum for arts providers that will be offered at training workshops during years one, two and three.



The Washington State Arts Commission
will develop, implement and assess the impact of new and expanded grant programs that increase arts participation in currently underserved communities. The commission will strengthen its skills and capacity by developing new tools and criteria for measuring arts participation. Documented results of this program will be used to justify requests for budget increases from the state legislature.

  • Create a new grant program called Community Initiative Projects that will support approximately eight demonstration projects in communities underserved by the arts.
  • In addition to distributing planning and implementation grants, Community Initiative Projects will provide technical assistance, leadership development and evaluation resources to participating arts organizations.
  • Enhance the current Project Support Program to include grants for arts programs in underserved communities.
  • Analyze and document the results of funded projects and impact of the programs on the Washington State Arts Commission.


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1. The information in this chart comes from each START state arts agency’s original grant agreement. Over the course of the multi-year grant period, some of the SAAs’ goals and strategies changed from what was initially specified.