Stern, Mark

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The Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP)is a research project of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice. SIAP's mission is to develop methods to study how the arts and culture influence urban neighborhoods. Over the past 15 years, SIAP has conducted a variety of research projects, focused on metropolitan Philadelphia.
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Now showing 1 - 10 of 67
  • Publication
    Culture and Community Revitalization: A Framework for the Emerging Field of Culture-Based Neighborhood Revitalization
    (2011-08-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This summary flyer provides an overview of the publications produced as part of the Culture and Community Revitalization project. The SIAP - Reinvestment Fund collaboration was undertaken from 2006 to 2008 with support by the Rockefeller Foundation.
  • Publication
    “Natural” Cultural Districts and Neighborhood Revitalization
    (2009-06-01) Stern, Mark J
    In this presentation, Stern argues for a policy approach that recognizes creativity as deeply embedded in urban social structure and the importance of diversity (economic, ethnic, and household) to the social production of the arts and culture. Only then can we come up with strategies that stimulate a creative society, not just a creative economy.
  • Publication
    What do the Arts & Culture Contribute to Urban Life?
    (2013-10-25) Stern, Mark J
    For a panel discussion on "Arts, Culture, and Vibrant Cities: Innovative Roles for Arts and Culture in Growing Inner Cities,” Stern’s talk uses Philadelphia research to highlight the sector’s drive to demonstrate economic vs. social benefits of “creative placemaking” and the consequences for disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. The event was part of “Reimagining Cities: Building Resiliency"—A Full-Day Symposium on Challenges Facing American Cities—held at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and Center for Politics and Governance, University of Texas at Austin, on Friday, October 25, 2013.
  • Publication
    Cultural Ecology, Neighborhood Vitality, and Social Wellbeing—A Philadelphia Project
    (2013-12-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    From 2011 to 2013, SIAP with Reinvestment Fund undertook new research that featured development of multidimensional indexes of social wellbeing for the city of Philadelphia. This report presents the results of that collaboration. Chapter 1 documents construction of a neighborhood-based social wellbeing index for the city. Chapter 2 uses the social wellbeing index to analyze patterns of advantage and disadvantage in Philadelphia neighborhoods. Chapter 3 draws on SIAP's historical data to examine changes in Philadelphia's cultural ecology between 1997 and 2012. The summary highlights how the policy tool helps conceptualize and measure culture as a dimension of social wellbeing as well as a contributor to equitable communities.
  • Publication
    Falling Far from the Tree: Transitions to Adulthood and the Social History of Twentieth-Century America
    (2005-12-01) Stanger-Ross, Jordan; Collins, Christina; Stern, Mark J
    Employing the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series of the University of Minnesota, we chronicle the changing timing and duration of transitions to adulthood in the twentieth century. Successive generations of young Americans reinvented the transition to adulthood to accommodate shifts in the economy and the American state. The patterned choices of young people delineate three eras of social history in the twentieth century: the era of reciprocity (1900–1950), the era of dependence (1950–70s), and the era of autonomy (1970s-2000). We also explain why African Americans differed from the general trend; they developed distinctive transitions to adulthood in response to persistent inequality.
  • Publication
    Culture’s Role in Community Revitalization in Philadelphia
    (2003-03-01) Stern, Mark J
    SIAP grew out of the belief that a better understanding of how the arts fit into urban social processes could provide a stronger foundation for policy making beyond a narrow focus on economic development. Its research to date can inform urban policy and community development strategies in several ways: highlight upcoming trends beyond “urban crisis”; measure the impacts of cultural engagement on urban neighborhoods; and document the mechanisms through which cultural sector works in urban communities. Thus the arts and culture are not marginal but rather are at the center of the new urban reality—characterized by a mix of decline and revitalization. Looking forward, SIAP wants to document how cultural engagement—along with other forms of community involvement—fit into an evolving “new civil society.”
  • Publication
    Gauging the Informal Arts Sector Metropolitan Philadelphia, 2004
    (2005-10-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C; Zaman, Mehreen
    The uncertain state of the traditional nonprofit has sparked interest in unincorporated cultural associations to maintain the vitality of the cultural sector. Despite increasing interest in and qualitative study of the role of the unincorporated groups and individuals in cultural production and participation, there are no data that allow assessment of their importance to the overall cultural sector. In this paper, SIAP takes an alternative strategy for estimating the informal arts sector. The authors use a representative sample of artists to ask what proportion of artists’ professional activities takes place in the for-profit, nonprofit, and informal sectors. The analysis is based on a sample of 270 artists in the Philadelphia metropolitan area interviewed during 2004. The team found that a large share of the sample’s professional activities did indeed occur in what might be called the informal cultural sector; and that the importance of this sector varied by discipline, age, and ethnicity of the artist. The informal arts sector is likely to be a major agenda item for cultural research in the years to come. If nothing else, this paper demonstrates that researchers can use quantitative methods to expand our understanding of the informal sector. It also holds out the promise that the research would contribute to a more complex and variegated portrait of informal cultural engagement and its place in the ecology of urban culture.
  • Publication
    Culture vs. Policy: Introduction and Summary of the Research
    (2005-10-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This summary provides a descriptive overview of SIAP’s research from 2003 to 2005 in metropolitan Philadelphia. The authors argue that the papers produced by the Dynamics of Culture project document an early 21st century American city with a flourishing cultural sector--a community infrastructure full of vitality and promise, in spite of social policy, not because of it.
  • Publication
    Is All the World Philadelphia?: A Multi-city Study of Arts and Cultural Organizations, Diversity, and Urban Revitalization
    (1999-05-01) Stern, Mark J
    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. Two represent established cities that have had to accommodate the restructuring of the world and national economies over the past several decades, while two represent the “Sunbelt.” Finally, two of the cities have a classic nineteenth-century core with concentric circles of later settlement, while the other two represent the urban form of the automobile age with multiple “centers” and a more dispersed pattern of development. As a “first-cut” on a multi-city study, the results of the analysis are striking. Each of the three major patterns found in Philadelphia are also present in the other cities. Each city had a substantial set of economically and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. In each city these neighborhoods were home to a large number of cultural organizations. Finally, in each city diverse neighborhoods with many cultural organizations were those most likely to experience revitalization during the 1980s. This paper therefore lays an important foundation in demonstrating that SIAP findings from Philadelphia are not idiosyncratic. In at least this respect, all the world really is like Philadelphia.