Culture Builds Community

Document Type

Working Paper




Community arts programs are embedded in a variety of social networks, including those with institutions, artists, and participants. This paper uses data on the institutional networks for four community arts programs to understand how these programs use social networks. The database for this paper was compiled from organizational reports on their institutional contacts as well as a review of documents and observation. The data were then geocoded and linked to the SIAP’s other organizational databases, including data on the presence of other types of social organizations in their neighborhood.

Community arts organizations are under two—often contradictory—pressures. Efforts to “rationalize” their organizational structure often come in conflict with their commitment to serving and engaging communities and neighborhoods. As a result, organizations are forced to be strategic in their choices of contacts, pursuing those that further their interests while reducing those that might sap their resources.


SIAP's Culture Builds Community inquiry was undertaken from 1996 to 2001 with support by the William Penn Foundation.



Date Posted: 18 May 2017