California Arts Groups to Benefit from Cultural Data Project

Contact: Emily Dulcan, 415.901.0111


San Francisco, CA - 01/16/2008 - Thousands of arts organizations across California will improve the impact they have on their communities and the state by participating in the California Cultural Data Project, a new statewide system now available on the Web at www.caculturaldata.org.

An ambitious effort to gather and analyze information about the contributions of the cultural sector to California’s economy and quality of life, the California Cultural Data Project is the first comprehensive data collection and grant application tool available to the state’s arts organizations. California is the first state in the western United States, as well as the largest overall, to participate. The Cultural Data Project started in Pennsylvania in 2004 and launched in Maryland in 2007. The Pew Charitable Trusts houses and administers the project for each state, helping to ensure comparable, standardized data across regions.

Arts and cultural organizations of every size routinely face challenges associated with collecting and reorganizing information for grant applications and data reports. The California Cultural Data Project will help streamline the funding application process for organizations by giving them the technology to organize their financial data to match each participating funder’s requirements. Groups will save time in the grant-application process by completing one online form each year that will supply information for the financial portion of many grant applications. In addition, the project will enable groups to track and analyze their data and compare how they operate relative to their peers.

“The Cultural Data Project helps groups spend less time on the process of collecting and organizing their data and allows them to focus instead on what the numbers suggest — their trends, opportunities and challenges,” said Bobbie Lippman, project director, Cultural Data Project, and Senior Officer for Culture, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

This comprehensive, standardized data collection will also allow the cultural community as a whole to articulate and provide evidence for the sector’s assets, needs and contributions to the state. It is anticipated that as many as 5,000 organizations in California will be participating in the project by 2011.

A series of workshops has prepared groups for this new technology, and the site includes such features as an online training component for new users, timely technical support and a financial expert on call. More information is available at www.caculturaldata.org.

The launch of the California Cultural Data Project has been made possible through the leadership of the California Arts Council, The Getty Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which have provided a total of $2.5 million in support of the project.

The Cultural Data Project was developed and is overseen by a collaboration of Pennsylvania funding agencies that includes the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, The Heinz Endowments, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Pittsburgh Foundation and the William Penn Foundation.

Additional support for the California Cultural Data Project is being provided by funding or the participation of: the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Arts Council for Long Beach, San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, Arts Council Silicon Valley, San Diego Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Culver City Cultural Affairs Division, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, Durfee Foundation, Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, East Bay Community Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Jewish Community Foundation, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, Marin Community Foundation, West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

NOTE: Interviews with the managers, funders and groups using the CACDP are available. To arrange an interview contact Emily Dulcan at 415-901-0111 or edulcan@fenton.com.

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