Research Opportunities in Wallace’s Arts Initiative


​​​​​The multi-year effort is focused on arts organizations of color and is expected to produce more than 40 new studies ​

​​​​​​​Learning is central to the Wallace philanthropic strategy.  In the new arts initiative, we seek to advance understanding regarding how the well-being (e.g., relevance, resilience) of arts organizations of color relates to their founding missions of advancing, serving, and engaging communities of color. The initiative has three major programmatic foci of activity:​


There is a strong research program attached to this initiative, which is expected to produce more than 40 new studies about different aspects of the arts ecosystem in which arts organizations of color are vital builders and contributors.  Research opportunities include:

  1. Ethnographies of BIPOC arts organizations (awarded to Social Science Research Council, 2021).  Early career scholars, from a wide range of disciplines, awarded an SSRC Arts Research with Communities of Color Fellowship, will conduct research detailing the culture and history of the 18 arts organizations funded by the Wallace initiative. SSRC will support Fellow’s peer learning, research, and publication; and will produce a cross-case analysis of what is learned across the 18 different studies.
  2. BIPOC Arts Organizations Well-Being and Community-Orientation Planning Grant (awarded to Arizona State University and University of Virginia, 2021).  Over the course of a year, ASU and UVA will work with the 18 arts organizations that received Wallace funding in 2021 to refine the initiative’s guiding question—related to organizational relevance, resilience, and community orientation—and develop a full four-year research design that will study participants' four-year projects and develop cross-cutting insights about their goals, strategies, and markers of success.
  3. Field Studies led by Arts Service Organizations serving BIPOC Arts Organizations and Artist Networks Round II (letters of intent due March 2023, proposals due May 2023​).  Arts service organizations have been invited to submit planning and implementation or expansion research proposals that address questions or gather data that can inform their work and/or that of their constituencies while advancing knowledge on the field of BIPOC artists and arts organizations. 
  4. Research on Regional BIPOC Arts Organizations (RFP due out by early 2023).  This RFP will invite proposals to conduct one or more studies related to the goals and activities of the 100+ smaller arts organizations funded as part of the initiative.  The exact focus of the RFP is being developed in 2022 in consultation with leading BIPOC arts service organizations and others.
  5. Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs) with BIPOC Arts Organizations (Letters of Intent to Submit due February 13, 2023, Proposals due May 15, 2023​). Academic scholars are invited to propose RPP Planning projects or Full RPP studies involving arts organizations founded by, with, or for communities of color working with researchers to address shared questions of interest to participants and of importance to the field and to scholarship. RPPs will include funds for post-doctoral researchers.
  6. Community Development through the Arts Studies (Expressions of Interest due January 23, 2023, Proposals due April 10, 2023​). Proposals from arts organizations and/or community development organizations founded by, with or for communities of color working in partnership with researchers will be invited to propose studies designed to produce insights into the depth, breath, and texture of community cultural development approaches designed to support the well-being of communities of color.

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