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Representation and Diversity, Advocacy, and Nonprofit Arts Organizations

Mirae Kim, Dyana P. Mason

Abstract: In recent years, arts and culture nonprofits have sought to make themselves more relevant to community issues by engaging in advocacy. Based on survey data drawn from a national sample of arts nonprofits, this study compares the different levels of advocacy carried out by all arts nonprofits and by minority-led arts nonprofits. To explain the varying levels of advocacy, this study focuses on the diversity of an organization’s constituents and its surrounding community, as well as the ethnic or racial identity and the professional background of its leader. Our results indicate that constituent and community racial and ethnic compositions are associated with the level of advocacy at arts nonprofits. Also, arts nonprofits with leaders who have been in the arts industry for a significant time are more likely to be engaged in advocacy than otherwise similar organizations. We discuss the implication of diversity and professional leadership on arts nonprofits’ advocacy.
Keywords: diversity / arts nonprofits / engaging / engaged in advocacy / leader / constituent / racial

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