Diversity on Cultural Boards: Implications for Organizational Value and Impact

Thu, 02/13/2014

Dr. Francie Ostrower, The University of Texas at Austin 

This working paper by the RGK Center’s Dr. Francie Ostrower presents the results of a recent study sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Research: Arts Works program. Analyzing national data on over 400 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, the study examines current levels of diversity among boards and factors associated with fostering or inhibiting greater board diversity. Finding that these boards are typically quite homogeneous with respect to race and ethnicity, the paper identifies steps that arts and cultural organizations can take to help make their boards become more diverse and areas for future research. While the study focuses primarily on racial and ethnic diversity, attention is also given to gender, occupation, and age, as well as to comparisons between the arts and nonprofits in other fields of activity. The paper is available here.