Plural focuses on the following programs: Partnerships, Knowledge Management & Analytics, and Wealth & Wellness Initiatives. In 2015 and 2016, we’ll be conducting research and internal self-assessments to refine ongoing work and to help us shape new initiatives.
Plural’s ongoing Partnerships Program concentrates on researching, writing, speaking, and teaching about the Canadian and US ethnocultural arts sectors and partnering with arts and culture, social justice, and educational organizations on initiatives related to increasing awareness of the activities, needs, and supports of ethnocultural artists, groups, and organizations. In coordination with our Wealth & Wellness Initiatives, Partnerships will co-produce Plural’s upcoming podcast series, At the Center. Through our Partnerships, we aim to support ethnocultural arts organizations by improving knowledge of the contexts and constraints under which these organizations operate.
Plural’s Knowledge Management & Analytics Program provides quantitative and qualitative information on ethnocultural arts organizations and service programs geared toward these organizations, and in the future will also cover information related to arts and health organizations and programs. Specifically, this program focuses on the analysis and presentation of data on the ethnocultural arts and arts and health sectors. Information currently publicly available through the pluralculture.org website includes the report and artist book Figuring the Plural, which discusses the history, characteristics, needs, and supports of Canadian and US ethnocultural arts organizations, databases of tax-exempt/registered charity ethnocultural arts organizations and arts service organizations in both countries, and survey results concerning the needs of these organizations. Information available upon request includes a curated listing of secondary research materials relevant to the ethocultural arts sector and a physical archive of artwork and ephemera obtained from ethnocultural arts organizations, artists, and arts administrators.
In addition, in 2016 we will be exploring the use of new data visualization tools to render the information we have collected, and continue to collect, on ethnocultural arts organizations more user friendly. By developing these tools and continuing to provide current and reliable information on ethnocultural arts, we seek to support strategic decision-making for artists, arts administrators, arts organizations, funders, and all other stakeholders in the arts and culture field. We envision for the future that our information products and tools will be publicly available through an online platform that will provide ready-to-use content, support interactive web maps, and allow users to organize and transform data into comprehensive intelligence.
Wealth & Wellness joins together two new Plural initiatives that both broaden and deepen the scope of our cultural equity driven mission. In its early stages, Plural’s Wealth Initiative is currently focused on collating existing research regarding the relationship between socioeconomics and the composition and professional development of arts managers. Findings from this initial research will guide the eventual form of specific program offerings. Through our Wealth Initiative, we aim to facilitate access to arts and cultural production for arts administrators from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
In February 2015, the Arts and Health Alliance ceased daily operations due to operational and funding challenges. As the premier arts service organization working in the field of arts and health in the United States, this loss is significant. Plural’s Wellness Initiative aims to help fill the void left by the closing of the Arts and Health Alliance and to support the burgeoning field of arts and health in Canada and the United States. During the Wellness Initiative’s first phase, we will focus on building a comprehensive database of the arts and health programs of US tax-exempt and Canadian registered charity organizations. Upon completion of the database, phase two of the Wellness Initiative will involve an analysis of the needs of these arts and health programs.