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Culture Builds Community

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Culture Builds Community Research Brief: The Power Of Arts And Culture In Community Building, Social Impact Of The Arts Project (Siap) Feb 2002

Culture Builds Community Research Brief: The Power Of Arts And Culture In Community Building, Social Impact Of The Arts Project (Siap)

Culture Builds Community

This research brief was designed as a hand-out for broad circulation among community arts practitioners as well as advocates and funders of community-based cultural programs. SIAP research in Philadelphia demonstrates that community arts activity can be a driving force behind the revitalization of neighborhoods.

Culture Builds Community, an initiative of the William Penn Foundation, supported community arts programs in Greater Philadelphia from 1997–2001. Evaluation of this initiative, led by the Social Impact of the Arts Project at the University of Pennsylvania (SIAP), focused on the ability of these organizations to build their own capacity while strengthening their community.


Culture Builds Community Evaluation: Summary Report, Mark J. Stern, Susan C. Seifert Jan 2002

Culture Builds Community Evaluation: Summary Report, Mark J. Stern, Susan C. Seifert

Culture Builds Community

In 1997 the William Penn Foundation undertook the Culture Builds Community (CBC) initiative as a way to link its commitments to urban communities and to the arts and culture in the Philadelphia region. The initiative eventually funded 29 programs involving 38 organizations to test a variety of strategies to expand cultural participation and strengthen community-based cultural organizations. Some organizations received core operating support while others were funded to undertake programs focused on expanding cultural opportunities, enhancing artistic quality, or fostering community-based collaborations with a focus on young people.

The Foundation provided technical assistance as well as funding to CBC grantees ...


Housing Markets And Social Capital: The Role Of Participation, Institutions, And Diversity In Neighborhood Transformation, Mark J. Stern Jun 2001

Housing Markets And Social Capital: The Role Of Participation, Institutions, And Diversity In Neighborhood Transformation, Mark J. Stern

Culture Builds Community

This paper examines the housing markets described in the Philadelphia Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI), launched by Mayor John Street in April 2001, through the lens of social capital indicators. In SIAP’s view, the lack of hard data on the city's social and human assets made it difficult for NTI or other urban revitalization efforts to evaluate urban assets with the same rigor as urban deficits.

The paper uses SIAP data on three categories of assets to examine their potential implications for the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative: social institutions, individual participation, and economic and ethnic diversity. The paper argues that ...


Urban Vitality, Diversity, And Culture: Population Growth And Ethnic Change In Philadelphia: 1990-2000, Mark J. Stern Mar 2001

Urban Vitality, Diversity, And Culture: Population Growth And Ethnic Change In Philadelphia: 1990-2000, Mark J. Stern

Culture Builds Community

This paper uses the early release of 2000 census data to get a glimpse of demographic changes in the city of Philadelphia during the 1990s. Unlike New York and Chicago, Philadelphia continued to lose population during the 1990s, a four percent decline. However, without an influx of immigrants—the city’s Hispanic population grew by 45,000 and its Asian population by 25,000—the decline would have been more than twice as large.

The paper focuses on the city and diversity. It first examines the changing ethnic character of Philadelphia during the 1990s and identifies where change was most ...


“Irrational” Organizations: Why Community-Based Organizations Are Really Social Movements, Mark J. Stern, Susan C. Seifert Jun 2000

“Irrational” Organizations: Why Community-Based Organizations Are Really Social Movements, Mark J. Stern, Susan C. Seifert

Culture Builds Community

This paper was prepared for the Planners Network Conference 2000 in Toronto. The focus of the paper is a re-conceptualization of community-based organizations from a model of a classic nonprofit institution to that of a social movement. Our observations are based on intensive evaluation of about 40 community-based arts organizations in Philadelphia involved in the Culture Builds Community initiative (1997-2001) of the William Penn Foundation. We argue that these small organizations have been colonized by business school consultants who want them to act and look like more established nonprofits. In our view, these organizations are better conceptualized as 'social movements ...


The Geography Of Cultural Production In Metropolitan Philadelphia, Mark J. Stern Feb 2000

The Geography Of Cultural Production In Metropolitan Philadelphia, Mark J. Stern

Culture Builds Community

In previous work on Philadelphia, SIAP found that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations tended to concentrate in economically and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. This paper uses data on for-profit cultural firms to document whether they too cluster in diverse neighborhoods or if they have a different logic of agglomeration.

The paper uses two data sets for the five-county Philadelphia region: the nonprofit inventory of over 1,200 cultural providers—including incorporated and “informal” programs—compiled by SIAP in 1997; and a for-profit database of approximately 1,300 cultural firms derived in 1999 from a yellow-pages compilation of selected industries.

The paper ...


Is All The World Philadelphia?: A Multi-City Study Of Arts And Cultural Organizations, Diversity, And Urban Revitalization, Mark J. Stern May 1999

Is All The World Philadelphia?: A Multi-City Study Of Arts And Cultural Organizations, Diversity, And Urban Revitalization, Mark J. Stern

Culture Builds Community

This paper takes on the question—to what extent to are the relationships between diversity, social capital, and revitalization that SIAP has documented in Philadelphia present in other cities? This paper uses available data to give a first approximation of the relationship between these variables in other U.S. cities.

For this first multi-city investigation, SIAP chose four cities—Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco—that share similarities but exhibit contrasts as well. They all have sizable ethnic minorities, although their ethnic composition varies greatly. They represent the four basic regions of the United States defined by the Census Bureau ...


Community Revitalization And The Arts In Philadelphia, Mark J. Stern, Susan C. Seifert Jan 1998

Community Revitalization And The Arts In Philadelphia, Mark J. Stern, Susan C. Seifert

Culture Builds Community

This paper explores the contours of community revitalization and its relationship to arts activity. The authors found that in Philadelphia, neighborhoods in which the arts were a visible presence were more likely to have fared better—as measured by changes in poverty and population—than the rest of the city.

The paper begins with an examination of trends in revitalization in the city of Philadelphia during the 1980s. The team found little relationship between declines in poverty and changes in the racial composition of the city’s neighborhoods—a classic indicator of gentrification--during this decade. When they examined the relationship ...