Creating Spaces: Performing Artists in Sacred Spaces

Austin - Baltimore - Detroit

Partners for Sacred Places

January 2016, 32 pages. Partners for Sacred Places, 1700 Sansom Street, 10th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103. (215) 567-3234. sacredplaces.org.

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   Investing in Cultural Participation and Financial Sustainability (2.1 Mb)

This study builds upon a successful pilot program of Partners for Sacred Places, primarily focused in Philadelphia and Chicago, that facilitates long-term, mutually beneficial space-sharing relationships between arts organizations — with inadequate or no home space — and houses of worship with space to share. The findings of this study demonstrate a range of issues, challenges, and opportunities facing performing artists and clearly establish that these artists:

  • overwhelmingly see a need for more performance, rehearsal, and administrative spaces;
  • see a home space as critical to artistic development and community engagement; and
  • feel that a historic sacred space could enhance the experience of their work.

This research confirms that many sacred spaces face diminished membership, limited resources to support and maintain their facilities, and a desire to provide value as a community resource and asset, but lack the resources to create these links. The findings from each city establish a significant amount of available space, the desire of sacred spaces to serve as a broader community asset, and their minimal concerns about artistic content and control.

This report and its findings could have implications for artists, sacred spaces, and the funding community not only in the three cities studied, but also throughout the country. Partners for Sacred Places is uniquely positioned to seek the human and financial capital to develop a replicable, scalable program that could have significant impact across the nation for artists and sacred places.

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