We work with cultural producers and providers. But we never forget that, in the long run, we work for cultural consumers, participants, and communities.
We bring a healthy skepticism about the assumptions that have long shaped practice in the arts, museums, science communication, public media, and other corners of culture. What got you here won’t get you where you need to go next. That’s why we’ve earned a reputation for helping forward-looking practitioners challenge and update those assumptions through clear-eyed research and evaluation.

Our Mission

To help the cultural sector, broadly defined, understand its participants and communities, experiment with new strategies for engagement, and connect more deeply to more—and more diverse—people.

Our Vision

A world where culture belongs to everyone, inclusively and equitably. Where relevance is built in partnership with communities and audiences. And where social research & evaluation open a conversation between institutions and audiences about new possibilities.

Our Values

Equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Because culture is stronger and more creative in itself and a more powerful tool for social change when it welcomes difference and diversity. And we’re a stronger firm when we do the same.
Collaboration.
We’re all about thought-partnership, both with each other at the firm and with our clients and colleagues around the field. We’re all in this together.
Curiosity.
This is what fuels our research—a hunger to learn more and a humility about what we think we’ve already learned. Inquiry is a journey, not a spot on the map.
Rigor and integrity.
As researchers, our job is to provide an independent, empirical view: methodologically rigorous, critical when necessary, and candidly conveyed. (If that’s not your cup of tea, we’re not the right firm.)
Co-creation with communities.
We see research and evaluation as paving stones on the two-way street of engagement. We use co-creative techniques to not just understand audiences and communities but also empower them and tap their creativity and vision.
Field-building and sharing.
Whenever possible, we share—and encourage our clients to share—research findings and strategic lessons with the wider field. And we do mean “wider”: our broad definition of culture means that learning cross-pollinates from one community-of-practice to another.

Latest Tweets

Before "high" #culture peeled off from "low," #art from entertainment: Scott Joplin was "a hit in the saloons of the Midwest...but also in the high-society parlors of European capitals." Love @nytimes #overlooked series of belated obits for people of color

Scott Joplin circa 1904. He would come to be revered as a ragtime giant and an in-demand performer.

Scott Joplin, Ragtime Master Who Wrote ‘The Entertainer’

Scott Joplin elevated ragtime, composed one of the first African-American operas and laid the groundwork for jazz.

www.nytimes.com

Thank you @murawski27 for breaking down practical ways to tackle change to move community involvement work forward. #firstwave @OFBYFOR_ALL

@stevenkohls Hi Steve, I run an audience research & evaluation firm for arts & culture nonprofits, and we're developing a new website - would love to use literally like 9 seconds of footage from your video of the Crossing Arts mural painting. Thoughts? Thanks very much.

@steamworkgroup @SloverLinett @DrPriceIsRight Right, we've sometimes said the same to each other here @SloverLinett. But increasingly, #genderidentity is one of the dimensions of diversity and inclusion that #museums and #arts orgs are striving for, so it's worth measuring and tracking over time.

Around our table: Great chat about asking #gender on #surveys inclusively, empathetically & analyze-ably? Is transgender a category (noun) or modifier of male or female (adj.)? Who are we to define the options, but closed-ended questions force the issue. #audienceresearch #arts

Load More...

Let's stay in touch. Sign up for our newsletters.