About

Sustain Arts is an unprecedented effort to connect knowledge and networks, building the collective capacity of art and culture in America, one region at a time. A project of the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University, in partnership with the Foundation Center and Fractured Atlas, Sustain Arts equips communities with meaningful data that answers critical questions like:

  • Where are arts and cultural organizations located?
  • Who participates?
  • Where does funding come from?
  • How do organizations maintain relevancy over time?

Program leaders, artists, private foundations, public agencies, and others access this data through the Sustain Arts platform. By combining innovative technology and on-the-ground capacity building, the project arms stakeholders with resources that assist in data-driven decision-making, strategic collaborations, and broad community engagement.

Sustain Arts is grounded in a belief that a healthy creative sector is essential to any vibrant community. Beginning in Southeast Michigan and the Bay Area, the project will engage a total of six regions over the next three years, laying the groundwork for regional and national policy conversations.

What makes this unique?

  • Sustain Arts is not an opinion survey. Instead, we aggregate existing data, updated over time, to ground decisions in relevant and shared information
  • Sustain Arts provides an intuitive and dynamic online platform. Anyone can access our resources—you don’t need a PhD to understand the information or how to use project tools
  • Sustain Arts is an asset for a broad network of stakeholders. Rather than catering to a single cohort, we answer diverse questions from policy-makers, large and small arts and cultural organizations, individual artists, for-profits and nonprofits, private funders and individual donors
  • Sustain Arts engages one of the largest collaborations of cultural funders to date. This includes individual philanthropists, foundations, and service organizations, all of whom promote its relevancy and adoption
  • Sustain Arts encourages the micro and macro-level health of art and culture. We empower individuals and regions in making data-driven decisions, informing both organizational strategy and area cultural planning efforts