United Arts of Central Florida shared recently that it would be partnering with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management (Website) to complete an Arts Ecology Study in Orange County starting the first week of June 2022. This special audit will look at the local arts ecology and will be funded by United Arts of Central Florida, Orange County, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
“As the local arts agency for Orange County, it is critical for United Arts to have a clear understanding of the current state of the entire arts ecology as well as where the gaps are in the health of the sector.”– JENNIFER EVINS, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF UNITED ARTS
This study will include an evaluation of the quality and financial capabilities of local arts institutions, the arts education provided in local public schools, the strength of governing boards, the quality of artistic and administrative management, audience profiles, the scope of local arts institutions, the sources of funding, accessibility of arts for all segments of the community, and much more.
This project is estimated to take roughly six months to complete and will focus on a range of inquiries and questions and will include measuring how Orange County’s arts ecology compares to other American cities: looking into why local arts organizations are facing challenging economic circumstances, evaluating how local arts play a vital role in attracting tourists to Orange County, estimating if residents have fair access to the visual and performing arts.
“The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs was formed after a study 20 years ago. It is time to, once again, take a serious, scientific look at our arts and cultural community to see where we are and what targets we should be aiming for in the future. We’re excited to have the experienced team from the DeVos Institute at the University of Maryland working on this plan.”– TERRY OLSON, DIRECTOR OF ORANGE COUNTY ARTS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS OFFICE
Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute, will lead the team and he will be assisted by Matthew Kacergis, senior consultant, and Dmitry Samogray, a research analyst. After this study is complete, strategies will be presented for building larger, more diverse and younger audiences, creating a less concentrated donor base, maximizing arts-related tourism, building stronger boards and providing board training, building a larger, stronger pool of management, creating a stronger regional, state-wide and national presence and for reducing costs through collective action and more.