About

Sustain Arts is an unprecedented effort to connect knowledge and networks in order to build the collective capacity of arts 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, answering critical questions like: Where are arts and cultural organizations located? Who participates in them? From where does funding come? And how do they maintain relevancy over time?

Organizations, artists, private foundations, and public agencies access these answers through the Sustain Arts website. By combining innovative technology and on-the-ground capacity building, the project arms stakeholders with resources to assist in data-driven decision-making, strategic collaborations, and effective community engagement.

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

What makes the project unique?

  • Sustain Arts is updated over time, through a dynamic online platform, building on and synthesizing existing research
  • Sustain Arts is not an opinion survey. Instead, the project aggregates existing data to ground strategy in shared information
  • Sustain Arts provides an intuitive online platform anyone can use — you don’t need a PhD to understand the information or how to use the tools
  • Rather than catering to a single cohort, Sustain Arts is an asset for a broad network of stakeholders, answering diverse questions from policy-makers, large and small arts and cultural organizations, individual artists, for-profits and non-profits, private funders and individual donors
  • Sustain Arts engages one of the largest collaborations of arts funders to date — including individual philanthropists, foundations, and service organizations — who help promote the relevance and adoption of resources
  • Sustain Arts encourages both the micro and macro-level health of the arts and culture sector, empowering leaders to make data-driven decisions and informing the regional cultural planning efforts of policy makers and funders