Wayne State receives NEA grant to research accessibility of cultural resources in SE Mich.


Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies has been awarded a $10,000 Art Works Research award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for its project "Making Sense of the Environment: Exploring the Locational Patterns of Cultural Organizations in Southeast Michigan."

Project investigators Lyke Thompson, professor of political science and director of the Center for Urban Studies and Alisa Moldavanova, assistant professor of political science, will research the locational patterns of cultural organizations in Southeast Michigan and the accessibility of cultural resources to different population groups.

The study will design and implement an index of access to arts and cultural institutions, accounting for admissions policy, the physical characteristics of a location, and transportation options. Researchers will explore the geographical, institutional, and social barriers limiting access to arts and cultural organizations, and will develop recommendations for improvement.

Results of this project will aid policymakers, donors and managers of cultural organizations to better design effective strategies reducing access barriers to cultural resources for the residents of Southeast Michigan. According to Alisa Moldavanova, "Ensuring broader access to culture and arts organizations is important for the long-term sustainability of the creative sector and individual arts organizations and it also helps changing the perceived image of arts organizations as elitist institutions."

"The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Supporting projects like the one from Wayne State University offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day." The project is one of eighteen research initiatives supported by the NEA in spring 2016.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit $82.3 Million in Grants Will Support Art Projects Nationwide.

Join the Twitter conversation about this announcement via #NEASpring16.

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