Our Mission

As we enter the 21st Century, the arts and humanities are facing dramatic and rapid changes. There is a growing crisis in financing arts and cultural institutions; continued uncertainty about the future role and presence of federal, state and local governments in subsidizing the arts and humanities; a proliferation of non-traditional artists and arts organizations at the community level; a shift in characteristics and preferences of arts audiences; the union of digital multimedia and the "information highway" that is changing how audiences access art and cultural programs as well as redefining the relationship between non-profit and for-profit enterprises in the arts and humanities. These challenges require private and public policy makers to be prepared to take rapid action based on well-informed research and analysis. Unfortunately, the field of arts and culture lags far behind education, health and social services in terms of the quality and quantity of regularly collected data and analysis.

In response to these challenges, the Center's primary mission is field building.

The Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies was created to improve the clarity, accuracy and sophistication of discourse about the nation's artistic and cultural life. Its programs and activities are designed to create an infrastructure of well-trained scholars who have access to regularly collected information about cultural organizations, activities and providers and who produce timely research and analysis on key topics in arts and cultural policy. The Center's goals and objectives follow directly from the mission statement. Through working papers and research publications, graduate and undergraduate courses, data collection and dissemination efforts, seminars, conferences, workshops, research fellowships and grants, the Center will sponsor projects designed to meet the following objectives:

  • To encourage talented students to take an interest in research on arts and cultural policy by offering undergraduate and graduate courses in these topics; also, to create a small cadre of talented young scholars who will devote a substantial portion of their research time, now and in the future, to work in the field of arts and cultural policy research.
  • To undertake research of the highest quality on key topics in arts and cultural policy and to make such research available to the public, scholars and public and private policy makers.
  • To provide a forum for conversation among scholars, artists, arts managers, administrators of cultural programs and private and public policy makers by sponsoring seminars, workshops and conferences around topics of special interest.
  • To stimulate and help facilitate the ongoing collection and dissemination of high quality baseline data on arts organizations, cultural grant-making and philanthropy, and participation in and beliefs about the arts and humanities.
  • To establish quality standards for cultural policy research and educate the research community in their use. Also, to investigate survey methodology and sampling strategies in an effort to collect more reliable and more valid data on organizations, audiences, artists and other providers of culture.