Three-City Arts Study

A scalable, replicable model for matching small to mid-size dance and theater companies having space needs with historic sacred places that have available space. This project is supported, in part, by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Research was conducted in Baltimore, MD, Austin, TX, and Detroit, MI in conjunction with our research partner, Drexel University.

Project Background

The Three City Arts Study builds upon Partners’ successful Making Homes for the Arts in Sacred Places (AiSP) program. AiSP was designed to facilitate long-term, mutually beneficial space-sharing relationships between arts organizations – with inadequate or no home – and houses of worship with space to share. AiSP maintains a database of information on arts organizations and sacred places; provides tools such as training, documentation, and budget and legal assistance; and acts as a matchmaker and facilitator for partnerships. Partners also has strong expertise on adaptive re-use of vacant religious properties, leading design charrettes, community and political engagements, and business and funding plan development.

Project Summary

The proposed project, with national implications, addresses the facility needs of both sectors in a unique way that has the potential for catalytic change. To elevate the issue, we explored the complex space problems faced by the dance and theater communities and held two national convenings to disseminate research findings and educate leaders in the field on the direct and significant potential for impact that this solution offers.  A recorded version of our Philadelphia convening can be found on this page along with the final version of our report.

Focus on Learning

The project highlights:

  • what has been done to date;
  • what resources currently exist;
  • what is the status and health of the dance and theater communities in the region; and
  • what are their space needs.

Three Regions

Three regions were identified for this study: Baltimore, MD; Austin, TX; and Detroit, MI. These cities are very diverse and represent a range of circumstances for the arts organizations in each area, which will ensure the development.

Research Partner

Partners for Sacred Places is fortunate to have Drexel University as our research partner on this project. The research methodology is being led by Professor Neville Vakharia, Research Director in Drexel’s renowned Graduate Arts Administration Program