Dynamics of Culture—2003-2005

Document Type

Working Paper




This paper is a preliminary sketch of institutional networks serving artists in metropolitan Philadelphia based on interviews with 13 organizations from June to August 2002. The approach was to develop a “cognitive map” of the network of institutions that support artists based in the region. That is, what are the nodes and functions in an artist-centered network? What types of links connect these nodes or functions? What nodes and links are the most important?

The study found that Philadelphia’s institutional network appears to operate, by and large, on a market model with artists functioning as individual “buyers” in an environment of limited resources and imperfect information. Some parts of the network, however, operate more on a service model for categories of artists—including many low-income groups— who because of race, immigration status, or location are cut off from the mainstream cultural system.


SIAP’s Dynamics of Culture research was undertaken from 2003 to 2005 with support by the Rockefeller Foundation.



Date Posted: 18 May 2017