September 1, 2013 | Working Papers

Diversity on Cultural Boards: Implications for Organizational Value and Impact

Authors: Francie Ostrower, Ph.D.

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What is the racial and ethnic composition of arts boards? What factors are associated with variations in board diversity? The study addresses these questions through an analysis of over 400 arts organizations, using data from the 2005 Urban Institute National Survey of Nonprofit Governance. While our primary focus is on the racial and ethnic composition of arts boards, attention is also given to gender, occupation, and age, as well as to comparisons between the arts and other fields of activity. The study extends current lines of research on arts participation to encompass membership on boards, offers conclusions about the current state of diversity (or lack of it) on boards, identifies implications for enhancing diversity, and offers suggestions for future research.

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