Every year, governments, foundations, universities, and scientists invest thousands of hours and millions of dollars generating research about arts and culture. Some of that research might hold insights crucial to solving our most pressing challenges—yet busy decision-makers hardly have time to take it all in. Without a comprehensive understanding of what that research says and what it all means, we might as well all be in the dark.
Createquity makes sense of all that research for you. We are a think tank and online publication investigating the most important issues in the arts and what we, collectively and individually, can do about them. And we’re on a long-term mission to help make the world a better place by better understanding the arts.
Createquity’s combination of rigorous evidence review and lively writing represents an exciting and unprecedented model. Rather than 100-page PDFs, we present our insights in engaging multimedia articles that bring the stories and challenges of each topic to life. In addition, we offer subscribers roundups of the important news stories each month, regular reviews of new and notable research reports, and a transparency initiative that shines a light on our investigations as they take place.
Since 2007, Createquity has won acclaim for its incisive analysis of arts research, philanthropy, and policy. Readers have described Createquity as “so amazingly good it’s almost in its own category of resource” and “the strongest, most provocative, well connected arts [publication]…that exists today.” Our 12,000+ followers and regular readers include a who’s who of policymakers, funders, thought leaders, administrators, and artists around the world. Join them today and come be a part of the solution.
Ian David Moss founded Createquity as a first-year graduate student and has since emerged as a highly respected thought leader in the nonprofit arts sector. As Vice President, Strategy & Analytics for Fractured Atlas, Ian works to build a culture of learning within his own organization and beyond. Evidence-based strategic frameworks that he helped create have guided the distribution of nearly $100 million in grants to date by some of the nation’s most important funders, including the William and Flora Hewlett and Doris Duke Charitable Foundations.
Ian is a serial entrepreneur with a strong track record for envisioning and implementing creative solutions to longstanding problems. In addition to Createquity, his successful ventures include the Cultural Research Network, an open resource-sharing forum for self-identified researchers in the arts that serves hundreds of members worldwide; and C4: The Composer/Conductor Collective in 2005, the first organization of its kind and the largest chorus exclusively singing music from the past 25 years. Ian has been named one of the top leaders in the nonprofit arts sector six times in an annual nationwide poll of arts administrators, and is in demand as a writer, editor, speaker, grant panelist, consultant, and guest lecturer. He holds BA and MBA degrees from Yale University and is based in Washington, DC.
Michael Feldman provides strategic and engagement advice to local and international arts organizations. Based in Washington, D.C., he also serves as a board member of the Alliance for a New Music Theatre, an arts partner of the Czech Embassy for their Mutual Inspirations Festival. Michael is a former cultural attaché and diplomat whose experience bridges the arts, development, and public policy worlds. Michael was a director at PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief; a director for Europe and Central Asia at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and professional staff of the Budget Committee of the U.S. Senate as part of a fellowship with the American Political Science Association. At the US State Department, Michael served in Europe and Central Africa; he oversaw assistance for the Balkans; and he negotiated policy with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the G-7/8 process, and the European Union. Michael graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Economics and speaks German, Czech, French and Italian.
Shawn Renee Lent is an international social practice dance artist, blogger, educator, and manager with experience from South Chicago to East London to Northwest Bosnia. Shawn is currently transitioning back to the States after three years living abroad. In 2012, she moved to Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar with a project titled “Artist as Catalyst.” Following her grant, Shawn remained in Egypt as the EducationUSA Advising Coordinator with AMIDEAST and the US State Department, while also building dance programs for 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt and the U.S. Embassy Cairo. Previously, Shawn was the Arts Integration Program Specialist at Columbia College Chicago and a member of numerous nonprofit boards. Her honors include being selected for the UN Alliance of Civilizations International Fellowship, American Express Social Purpose Leadership Academy, World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku, and the Universal Exposition in Milan. Shawn holds a Master of Arts Management degree with a concentration in Arts in Youth and Community Development from Columbia College Chicago, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Youth Arts Development from Goldsmith’s College, and a BFA from Millikin University, where she had the honor of being Commencement Speaker in 2014.
Ruth Mercado-Zizzo is the Arts Expansion Director at EdVestors, a Boston education non-profit, and is responsible for managing BPS Arts Expansion, a multi-year effort to expand quality arts education in schools across Boston Public Schools through a public-private partnership. She previously worked at Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, where, as Director of Education, she oversaw the long-term planning and evaluation of all education programs and managed partnerships with cultural institutions and community organizations across the city. Ruth also worked for People’s Light and Theatre in Malvern, PA in both education and administration. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from Arizona State University, where she was honored with the Herberger College of Fine Arts Research and Creative Activity Award, and is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a past recipient of an Ann Shaw Fellowship, a program to fund career development opportunities for theatre artists and administrators committed to Theatre for Young Audiences and has served as Treasurer and board member of TYA/USA. Previously, Ruth served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and is an alum of the National Guild’s Community Arts Education Leadership Institute.
Fari Nzinga was born and raised in Boston, MA and graduated from Oberlin College in 2005, where she was awarded a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. Her Mellon thesis explored the lives of Black Cuban women in Havana and drew heavily from fieldwork conducted there during a study abroad semester. In 2006 she enrolled at Duke University in the Cultural Anthropology program where she would earn both her M.A. and Ph.D. Having lived in New Orleans since 2009, her dissertation explored Black-led, community-based institutions using art and culture to help achieve their social justice-oriented missions, as well as the political-economic landscape in which they operate. While conducting fieldwork in post-Katrina New Orleans she worked for a theater production company with organizational roots stretching back to the civil rights movement. In fall 2014, she began a two-year ACLS Public Fellowship position as the Public Policy Officer at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Rebecca Ratzkin has worked as a researcher and consultant in the nonprofit sector for over the past ten years, helping organizations, foundations and government agencies better understand how people engage with and are affected by arts and culture. Her interest and skills focus on bridging theory and practice, as well as empowering others to conduct and utilize research independent of “experts.” In her role as Senior Consultant at WolfBrown, she directed the Arts Research Collaborative (ARC) for the Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program from 2012 to 2015, and works with a range of clients from culturally-specific and community-based organizations to large institutions and private foundations. She is co-author of numerous reports, including Making Sense of Audience Engagement, Understanding the Intrinsic Impact of Live Theatre (part of Counting New Beans), Jazz Audience Initiative Study, and It’s Not About You…It’s About Them: Fund for Artists Donor Study. Rebecca graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College with major in art history, and has a master’s in urban planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where she studied economic clusters of arts organizations in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Salem Tsegaye works at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. As Assistant Director for the Arts Research Institute, she supports faculty with research development, including interdisciplinary, collaborative projects, and fosters dialogue around new directions in creative practice. Salem previously worked at The New York Community Trust, a community foundation, where she managed the New York City Cultural Agenda Fund, supporting arts and cultural advocacy, policy, and equity, and the Fund for New Citizens, supporting immigrant rights advocacy, immigration legal services, and capacity-building for immigrant-led nonprofits. Prior to The Trust, Salem worked as a grant writer for the Queens Museum, and as a training and technical assistance provider for government agencies and small and mid-size nonprofits in Washington D.C. She holds an MA in Design Studies from Parsons The New School for Design and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University.
Lauren Warnecke is a Chicago-based freelance dance and culture critic, and a regular contributor to SeeChicagoDance.com, Windy City Times, and Chicago Magazine. She founded the blog Art Intercepts in 2007 and also writes about dance pedagogy, health and wellness, qualitative research methods and higher education for various print and online publications. Lauren has created presentations, courses, and curricula for universities, professional, and pre-professional organizations; presented at national and international conferences; and, for over a decade, managed extra-curricular arts programs for youth and adults in the non-profit sector. Lauren is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, holds degrees in dance and kinesiology, and is certified in random things like the Cecchetti Method, aquatic exercise, olympic weightlifting and urban composting. Tweet her @artintercepts.
Benzamin Yi is a freelance graphic designer and communications consultant based in NYC. Previously, he was the Communications Associate at the Democracy Collaborative (formerly part of the University of Maryland), a Washington-based political economics think tank focused on democratizing ownership of wealth. During his time there, he designed many infographics simplifying complex economic models and striking data points on the inequality of wealth in America that have been published in various media outlets such as the Huffington Post, Alternet, Cooperative Business Journal, AFL-CIO, MIT CoLab, Shareable, and Upworthy. He is also the co-author of a report on the state of student activism and university relations in helping to build community wealth in its surrounding neighborhoods, titled Raising Student Voices (2013). He holds a BA in Philosophy with minors in Political Science and Environmental Analysis & Design from the University of California, Irvine.
John Carnwath is a consultant at WolfBrown, a research and consulting firm serving arts organizations, cultural agencies, and foundations. John’s work primary focuses on arts funding, cultural policy, and related issues of measurement and evaluation. Previously, John developed content for the theater section of the Chicago Artists Resource and served as the Dean of the Chicago chapter of the Awesome Foundation. John holds a PhD from Northwestern University, where he taught undergraduate seminars including “The Economics of the Performing Arts” and “Organizational Structures and Production Processes in contemporary US Theater,” while writing his dissertation on the institutional development of municipal theaters in Germany.
Katy Coy is the executive director of the Association of Arts Administration Educators. As the organization’s first full-time leader, she has grown membership, created a variety of new strategic partnerships, and increased the scope and impact of the organization’s annual conference. Previously, Katy was the Chief Communications Officer of eTech Ohio, a stage agency dedicated to funding and implementing educational technology initiatives statewide. Katy has held leadership positions with the Columbus Symphony, The University of Chicago’s Music Performance Program, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and more. She previously served as Treasurer of the board at Wild Goose Creative (Columbus, OH). Katy holds a BA in arts administration from Western Michigan University and an MFA in Arts Leadership from DePaul University.
Talia Gibas is Professional Development Programs Manager at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, where she is responsible for the administration of technical assistance and arts internship programs designed to increase the capacity of the arts sector. Prior to assuming this post in April 2014 she served as the manager of Arts for All, Los Angeles County’s arts education initiative dedicated to making the arts core in K-12 public education. In her six years with Arts for All she oversaw a number of professional development initiatives and grant programs targeting school and district leaders. She also served on Americans for the Arts’s Arts Education Council from 2011-2014. Talia earned her A.B. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, and Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her non arts life she is an avid endurance athlete and proud member of California Triathlon.
Katherine Gressel is an NYC-based freelance artist, curator and writer focused on site‐specific and community art. Her popular article on public art evaluation from her 2011 Createquity Writing Fellowship led to multiple writing and speaking engagements with Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network and Public Art Dialogue, among others. Katherine is currently the Contemporary Curator at Brooklyn’s Old Stone House, and has also curated for Brooklyn Historical Society, FIGMENT, No Longer Empty, and NARS Foundation. She is the founder of Brooklyn Utopias, an exhibition and public programming series inviting artists and community groups to respond to urban planning issues. Her curatorial work has been recognized by The New York Times, Time Out New York, Hyperallergic, News 12 Brooklyn, and DNAInfo, and through grants from Brooklyn Arts Council and the Puffin Foundation. Katherine has painted community murals internationally and exhibited her own artwork throughout NYC, and currently runs an award-winning business, Event Painting by Katherine, creating live paintings of private events. Katherine has also held programming, grantwriting and teaching artist jobs and internships at such organizations as Smack Mellon, Arts to Grow, Creative Time and the Brooklyn Museum. Katherine earned her BA in art from Yale and MA in arts administration from Columbia.
Shelly Hsieh is a Policy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, where she specializes on energy development and policy reform in the Southeast Asia region. Prior to joining the IEA, Shelly was a research fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a non-profit think tank focusing on Canada’s relations with Asia, and a visiting researcher at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Outside of the energy world, Shelly has a strong interest in arts development, and has previously conducted arts research for Fractured Atlas in New York. Shelly holds a Master in Sustainable Development from Sciences Po in France and a Master in International Relations from Peking University in China.
Katie Ingersoll works at the the Cultural Data Project (CDP), a nonprofit that seeks to empower the arts and cultural sector with high-quality data and resources in order to strengthen its vitality, performance, and public impact. Katie works to develop and deliver educational resources to help organizations make use of CDP’s tools and data. Prior to joining the CDP, Katie was a Policy Researcher at the Prometheus Radio Project, working to create opportunities for local groups to use radio to benefit their communities. She holds a Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked in public and academic libraries. In her spare time, Katie is an amateur mosaic artist and circus performer in training.
Daniel Reid is executive director of the Whiting Foundation. Prior to joining Whiting, he provided strategic consulting to cultural and other nonprofit institutions such as UNESCO, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Gates Foundation; helped launch the CUNY Institute for Education Policy; and worked as an acquisitions editor at Other Press. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Daniel writes on cultural and philanthropic policy. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.
Clara Inés Schuhmacher has over a decade of experience in the cultural sector, working primarily at the intersection of the arts, community and public space. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing & Events for the DUMBO Improvement District, where she develops programming for the neighborhood’s public spaces in partnership with, and for the benefit of, its residents, businesses and cultural organizations, including Live at the Archway, a free, weekly performance series. Previously, she held creative leadership positions with Make Music New York, the New York Village Halloween Parade, and New Music USA. Clara has toured Europe and South America as a vocalist, and her video work has been exhibited internationally. She holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from Brown University, and an MA in Arts Politics from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Clara was born in Italy to Argentine parents, and has lived in Brooklyn since 2008.
Stephanie Wykstra is an independent research consultant with a focus on open science, impact evaluation and evidence synthesis. She previously directed the Research Transparency Initiative at Innovations for Poverty Action, where she managed IPA’s data repository and conducted training workshops on reproducible research. Stephanie has also held research positions with philanthropic advisory groups including GiveWell, and worked in academia as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. She holds a BA from Yale University and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Rutgers University, specializing in Epistemology.
Norman Bradburn is a Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago. He also serves as the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the faculties of the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, Department of Psychology, Booth School of Business and the College. He is a former provost of the University (1984-1989), chairman of the Department of Behavioral Sciences (1973-1979), and associate dean of the Division of the Social Sciences (1971-1973). From 2000-2004 he was the assistant director for social, behavioral, and economic sciences at the National Science Foundation. Associated with NORC since 1961, he has been its Director and President of its Board of Trustees. Bradburn has been at the forefront in developing theory and practice in the field of sample survey research in the cultural sector. He co-directs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators project and was Principal Investigator of the Cultural Infrastructure in the United States project.
Harris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is Hugo L. Blomquist professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City. Dr. Cooper’s research interests follow two paths. The first concerns research synthesis and research methodology. His book, Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-by-Step Approach (2016) is in its 5th edition. He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis (2nd ed., 2009). In 2007, Dr. Cooper was the recipient of the Frederick Mosteller Award for Contributions to Research Synthesis Methodology given by the International Campbell Collaboration. In 2008, he received the Ingram Olkin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Research Synthesis from the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology. Dr. Cooper is also Editor-in-Chief of the American Psychological Association Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology (2012) and served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Use of Social Science Knowledge in Public Policy (2007-2012).
Marian A. Godfrey currently serves as Cultural Advisor to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Sheffield, MA. She retired from the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2011. Prior to arriving at Pew in 1989, Ms. Godfrey had an extensive background in nonprofit arts management, handling production, administration, fund raising, and strategic planning for organizations including Mabou Mines, Dance Theater Workshop, and La Jolla Playhouse. She produced film and video projects, including a feature-length film for Mabou Mines that aired on public television nationwide. Additionally, she has worked as a consultant both for performing arts organizations and for foundation and corporate programs including AT&T: OnStage. She has contributed numerous articles to Grantmakers in the Arts’ Reader and other publications. Ms. Godfrey has served on advisory panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, on the Presidential Transition Committee in 1992, and the boards of Theatre Communications Group, Grantmakers in the Arts, the Maine College of Art, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Curtis Institute Board of Overseers. She is the founding chair of the National Arts Policy Roundtable convened by Americans for the Arts and the Sundance Institute; is a member of the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, the Poetry Foundation, and TDC; and serves on the Editorial Board for the Yale School of Drama’s on-line Knowledge Base. Ms. Godfrey is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Yale University School of Drama. In 2003, she received the John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership for contributions to museum education from the American Association of Museums. She is married to Thomas J. Gardner and divides her time between Richmond, Massachusetts and Vinalhaven, Maine.
Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson’s expertise is in comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, the dynamics of race and ethnicity and the roles of and arts and culture in communities. She is Senior Advisor to the Kresge Foundation and consults with national and regional foundations and government agencies on strategic planning and research. In 2013, with U.S. Senate confirmation, President Obama appointed Dr. Jackson to the National Council on the Arts. She is on the advisory boards of the Lambent Foundation and L.A. Commons and on the boards of directors of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and The Music Center of Los Angeles County. Previously she was on the boards of the Association for Performing Arts Presenters, the National Performance Network, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Cultural Alliance for Greater Washington, Fund for Folk Culture and the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation. She also advises a number of national and regional projects focusing on arts leadership, arts organizations and changing demographics, arts and community development and arts and health. In the 2014-2015 academic year, Dr. Jackson was the James Irvine Foundation Fellow in Residence at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently she is a visiting professor at the Herberger Institute of Art and Design at Arizona State University. Previously, for almost 20 years, Dr. Jackson was based at the Urban Institute, a public policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. There she was founding director of UI’s Culture, Creativity and Communities Program. Dr. Jackson earned a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California.
As President of the Field Foundation of Illinois, Angelique Power oversees the charitable distribution of $2.5 million annually from assets nearing $60 million for the foundation, which is known for its strategic support of innovative programs and organizations with a primary emphasis on reaching marginalized communities and populations. Angelique brings with her 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and philanthropy. Prior to Field, Angelique served as Program Director for the Joyce Foundation’s culture program; Director of Communications and Community Engagement at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and developed philanthropic efforts as a senior manager in community relations for Target Corporation. Angelique serves on the boards of 6018North and Grantmakers in the Arts, where she’ll become the Chair in 2017. She is also a founding co-chair of Enrich Chicago, a nonprofit-led movement in Chicago’s art sector that focuses on racial equity. Angelique holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan and a masters of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Angelique became a Fellow with Leadership Greater Chicago in 2015, a year long intensive program that brings leaders across sectors together to study Chicago’s most pressing issues.