The Unsung Majority: An Exploratory Study of Small and Mid-Sized Arts Organizations

TDC worked closely with the Consortium of Small Arts Funders (CSAF) in Pittsburgh to conduct an exploratory study focused on performing arts organizations with budgets of under $1.5M, a previously unstudied group. The study considered two questions: are there cohorts of organizations within this group, and if so, could they help promote audience growth? After a careful organizational and financial analysis of the organizations, as well as a scan of the greater Pittsburgh arts ecosystem, TDC found that cohorts do exist. These cohorts, however, display characteristics, such as size and reliance on sweat equity and personal relationships, that challenge organizations’ ability to grow. The study also found that ecosystem assets and creative networks could be further leveraged for possible benefit. TDC is eager to engage on these topics with organizations and funders in Pittsburgh and other communities around the country.