Studying BIPOC Arts Organizations Request for Qualifications (RFQ)


Due January 4, 2021

In February 2021, the Wallace Foundation expects to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to a select group of researchers for one or more studies related to an initiative to invest in BIPOC arts organizations. Studies could include:

  • Ethnographic accounts of BIPOC organizations as they enhance, expand or innovate their efforts;    
  • Documentation of implementation of new programmatic and/or organizational work and its impacts across a range of BIPOC arts organizations;       
  • Social network analyses of staff, leaders, boards and funders across the sector using existing or new sources of data;    
  • Landscape/census studies to document the field using existing or new sources of data; and    
  • Other studies to be developed.

Proposals submitted in response to the RFP are likely to be due in April-May 2021, with research starting that summer or fall. Studies are expected to be multi-year, multi-site and range in funding total from $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more.  

Request for Qualifications    
In order to identify the select group of researchers who will receive the RFP(s) in February 2021, the foundation is issuing this Request for Qualifications. We are seeking accomplished researchers with a history of working with arts organizations, and in particular BIPOC arts organizations.  Researchers should have a strong record of publications and of supporting practice in the field of arts organizations.  For purposes of this RFQ we refer to performing and presenting arts organizations of all types (theatres, museums, CBO-arts, dance, music, et al.), but not to organizations that are exclusively arts education organizations. 

We invite researchers and scholars who meet the above criteria to submit, by January 4, 2021, (1) a Word or PDF document with your responses to the questions below and (2) a copy of your CV.  Please send documents and/or questions to

Please limit your response to each of the following items to less than 200 words:      

  • What is your history of conducting research on arts organizations? What kinds of questions or issues have you studied?
  • What do you see as key research questions for studies of BIPOC arts organizations?
  • What is your experience of working in research-practice partnerships with practitioners, including arts organization leaders?
  • What theoretical lenses, methodologies and methods do you typically use in your work and why have you selected these approaches?
  • Please describe the organizational capacity you have available to support your research efforts (e.g. administrative, analytical, technical and research support).


Background on the Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation is a nationwide philanthropy based in New York City whose mission is to foster equitable improvements in learning and enrichment for young people and the vitality of the arts for everyone. We identify important knowledge gaps in our areas of interest, support the field to develop and test promising ideas to narrow those gaps, and then broadly share what’s been learned to inform those who can effect beneficial change. We value and seek diverse research perspectives and lived experiences.​