Artists, whether they are visual, performing, literary or media, are a stimulating force in communities across the U.S.

They are typically the entrepreneurs of the arts and cultural sector. They ask probing questions, take risks and develop new concepts that can be fostered and built upon in both the non-profit and for-profit arenas. Artists penetrate all parts of society, from the neighborhood level to the commercial level. They engage residents in discourse through performances and instill pride through the development of community reflective murals. They influence the design of our everyday wares and develop challenging creative works such as dances, films, novels and paintings

Artists, however, are not always well understood by the communities they inhabit. A lack of information about their needs and contributions has resulted in less than adequate systems to support their diverse efforts. To address this topic, a national consortium of foundations commissioned The Urban Institute in 1999 to conduct a study of the systems and structures that support the work of individual artists. Released in 2003, Investing in Creativity: A Survey of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists spawned a nationwide effort (led by Leveraging Investments in Creativity) to dramatically improve conditions for individual artists.

Download "Advancing Support Systems for Artists"