Helping funders and arts organizations realize their vision since 1996.


Published Reports & Books

Suzanne and Callahan Consulting for the Arts [craft] 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.

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

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.

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

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.

Tap in the US: An Assessment of the Field for the International Tap Association (ITA) (2006)

Illustrated the challenges the field faces, its extensive reach through grass-roots tap festivals, and its potential for growth across the US. 

Singing Our Praises

Read here about Callahan’s book on evaluation, which was awarded Publication of the Year by the American Evaluation Association.

Voices from the Field: Dance/USA Fellows in Practice and Community.

An article series and book. The publication’s 15 writers capture and raise visibility for the Fellows’ practices and stories. They are intended for use by “artists, academicians, funders, presenters, cultural practitioners, and community workers who understand that the plurality of creative voices reflecting people of color and other historically marginalized people must be valued and welcomed into the pantheon of what constitutes American dance.”

Dance From the Campus to the Real World (and Back Again): A Resource Guide for Artists, Faculty, and Students (2005).

The culmination of four years of activity, this book is designed to benefit faculty, administrators, and emerging and professional artists, as well as the next generation of dancers throughout the country. It responds to a major trend: colleges once again are primary sites for the dance field’s development. “Residencies 101” guides artists and faculty in working together to plan successful residencies. “Universities 101” guides those who are considering faculty positions on what to expect and ask. “Real World 101” orients young dancers (and faculty) to what life will be like once they graduate from college and begin a career. Published by Dance/USA’s National College Choreography Initiative (NCCI).

Serving Dance in Chicago for the Chicago Community Trust

Extensive research culminated in a plan for dance service provision. It illuminated artists’ needs to dance leadership in the city, including artists and funders.
Learn more about this report
Download the Executive Summary (514 KB PDF)
Download the Full Report (2 MB PDF)

Reports on the National College Choreography Initiative (2001-2005)

These three publications on the funding program that Callahan Consulting runs for Dance/USA capture the effect that prestigious dance artists had on campuses across the country, not only through their profound engagement with students, but also in the waves of activity they generated on the local level: 

National College Choreographer Initiative: Bringing it Home – A Third Wave of Creative Collaboration. Round 3, 2004-05.

National College Choreography Initiative: Encore – A Year of Success. Round 2, 2003-04.

National College Choreography Initiative: Supporting the Past, Present and Future of American Dance. Round 1, 2001-02.

Artist-College Collaboration: Issues, Trends and Vision (2003)

Developed from college faculty and professional artists in a series of national forums, the report documents the profound changes in ways of working that are facing artists and college dance departments, and makes recommendations about steps that might be taken to increase the quality of collaborations for both working artists and colleges.
Download the Executive Summary (47 KB PDF)

Reaffirming the Tradition of the New: A Report on the National Performance Network's Regional Roundtables (2001).

This report on the NPN’s strategic planning process documents the major issues facing community-based arts organizations and the vital role this network plays in supporting artists, their work, and the communities they serve.
Download the Executive Summary (719 KB PDF)
Request a free copy

The Art of Evaluation: Transforming the Research Process into a Creative Journey (1999).

This three-part series of articles takes the mystery and fear out of evaluation, charging arts practitioners to plan for and document their own success. Published in the Dance/USA Journal in 1999, and later reprinted by Theatre Communications Group.
Download Part 1 (290 KB PDF)