Helping funders and arts organizers realize their vision since 1996.

We trust the skill and sensitivity Suzanne and Callahan Consulting for the Arts bring in crafting large-scale and complex research studies that are immediately usable, understandable and relevant to our field.

—Krista Bradley
Director of Programs and Resources, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP)

National Research on Issues and Communities

 

We conduct major studies to inform funders’ and service organizations’ policy decisions.

We trust the skill and sensitivity Suzanne and Callahan Consulting for the Arts bring in crafting large-scale and complex research studies that are immediately usable, understandable and relevant to our field. She prioritizes our vision and our input throughout the entire process, swiftly transforming our goals into action, and her experience and insights made our conceived project richer and more impactful than we had hoped.

Her rapport with the arts community, gifted facilitation of interest and research groups and keen curatorial eye allow her to uncover answers to relevant questions and provide opportunities to address underrepresented topics and viewpoints. She is a valued colleague and an important leader in our community.

— Krista Bradley
Director of Programs and Resources, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP)

As Affiliate Researcher at the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Callahan published a blog entry about the effects of COVID on the arts industry. Read it here.

Our Approach

Studies for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as other funders have involved extensive research on choreographic training, the arts field’s use of technology, racial equity in grantmaking, service provision, dance communities, and the presenting field, including the impact of COVID on the field.

Our Results

Small and Midsized Presenters in the United States: Stories and Perspectives. Commissioned by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (2019 & 2020).

With support from the Wallace Foundation, the Association of Performing Arts commissioned Callahan Consulting for the Arts to conduct a preliminary qualitative study and largescale quantitative study to learn about the realities and needs of small and midsized presenters, many of whom operate in rural areas. Surveys, focus groups, and interviews illuminated their circumstances and offered insights for the field.

COVID Supplement. In the summer of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread closures of many arts organizations raised questions about how the presenting industry would do its work in 2020 and beyond. Respondents shared their circumstances and stories in a supplemental study.
Read the Executive Summary
Read the Full Report 
Read the COVID-19 supplement

 

Choreography in the United States: A Comparative Study of Training and Support Systems. Commissioned by The Joyce Theater (2012) and Published by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2014).

Callahan Consulting for the Arts (Callahan Consulting) conducted a study for The Joyce Theater (The Joyce), funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (The Mellon Foundation), to determine how The Joyce might better support choreographers in developing work of the highest artistic quality. The Joyce and The Mellon Foundation shared this research with the dance field so that its findings might be used to inform or improve other programs. The study examined and gathered a wide range of information, including data from 132 colleges, 37 written sources, 43 interviews/consultations, and four site visits. Research explored: the professional choreographic training opportunities currently available in the United States through college programs and from other organizations and individuals; the training (or lack thereof) of select choreographers working in the United States and the factors that contributed to the development of their choreographic voices; and select training methods in Europe.
View a Short Synopsis of Findings
Download the Executive Summary (391 KB PDF)
Read the Full Report on Mellon’s website

 

Technology and the Performing Arts Field: Uses and Issues. Commissioned by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2010).

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Mellon) commissioned a study of technology usage in the arts field to learn about its practices, accomplishments, and needs. This report analyzes a survey of nearly 600 members of five discipline-based arts service organizations and compares it to Callahan’s new research, on respondents’ use of and perceptions about technology. The report creates an in-depth picture of the technology needs and strengths of these organizations, gives insight into survey responses, and reveals the sometimes radical changes that took place in organizations’ attitudes toward, and use of, technology over three years.  Mellon’s original survey, conducted with the nonprofit NPower, drew respondents from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance/USA, the League of American Orchestras, OPERA America, and Theater Communications Group.