Women Printers, 18th century engraving CultureWork
A Periodic Broadside
for Arts and Culture Workers

March 2001. Vol. 5, No. 3.
Institute for Community Arts Studies
Arts & Administration Program, University of Oregon


AMRC - The Arts Management Research Clearinghouse

Dr. Linda F. Ettinger

Launched in September 2000, The Arts Management Research Clearinghouse (AMRC) <http://amrc.uoregon.edu> is a web-based virtual forum designed to support the resource and communication needs of both producers and consumers of arts management research. The site offers an on-line databank of options, including publications, organizations, master's student research, data sets, and descriptive resources  addressing research methods. Through an interactive component, users add value to the site by contributing content and posting comments about resources. In this way, AMRC incorporates the strengths of both community and technology by providing centralized information, and commentary from the field.

The AMRC is geared toward students and faculty in academic programs worldwide, as well as practitioners in the field.  All persons interested in research in the field of arts management are welcome to use and contribute to the site!

The primary Clearinghouse goal is to provide a central access point to research materials, generated and maintained by a growing list of site users including individuals, arts organizations and academic programs.

To facilitate the successful exchange of information and ideas within this electronic forum, AMRC provides guidelines on research protocols and formatting, a monthly feature that highlights selected resources, and basic information on how to engage in directed inquiry.

AMRC is built initially upon the expertise of members of the Association of Arts Administration Educators <http://www.artsnet.org/aaae/>, an international organization promoting interaction and excellence in the arts management profession.

Benefits of using the AMRC

The need for such a virtual research clearinghouse is clear. Today, non-profit organizations throughout the United States face challenging managerial problems. Arts management professionals are strapped for resources to solve ever more complex problems and at the same time, simply stay in business. The problems can seem overwhelming, and are a strong contributing factor to the high rate of burnout among practicing arts mangers. Arts management graduate students face equally difficult challenges. They are preparing to move into careers during a time of rapidly advancing technology, evolving management strategies, shifting fiscal resources, and changing local and regional community needs.

How to participate in AMRC

The more the site is used, the more useful it will be! Users can examine documents posted on the AMRC that define research and describe research methodology, search posted resources according to established descriptors, review a set of Frequently Asked Questions, read master's student research abstracts, post comments about any resource, and ask specific research questions to the collective users.

Specific resources posted on the Arts Management Research Clearinghouse include:

  • Frequently Asked Questions about research (FAQ)
  • A regularly updated feature, posted on the Home page
  • The AMRC Databank, searchable by descriptors
  • Descriptive information about research methods, for example: definitions of research, how to conduct research, information about research design and strategies, a bibliography
  • Access to a web site that addresses research ethics and Human Subjects compliance
  • Publications in related disciplinary areas
  • Links to organizations that publish and promote research
  • Relevant resources produced by AAAE member institutions
  • Annual updates of master's student research (title/abstract, access to full text retrieval)
  • Course outlines for research courses at various academic institutions
  • Users are encouraged to engage the site in many ways. Faculty and students may want to use the AMRC as a resource in academic courses that address research methods or require research inquiry. Programs may contribute titles and abstracts of research produced by their students each year. All users are asked to take ownership of the site by suggesting useful links to pertinent resources and organizations. Commentary in the form of annotations about the usefulness or quality of any resources is welcome, and will be of benefit to other users.

    Contact us

    Contributions and comments to the AMRC Databank can be made by anyone at any time. Academic program directors in the field of arts management are asked to submit titles and abstracts of master’s student research annually, in the months of May and June, as applicable to specific academic calendars. Abstracts should be limited to 75 words – see the AMRC Databank for appropriate format. (If you need it, a description of How to Write an Abstract can be located within FAQ.) Please email resources and ideas to  <amrc@darkwing.uoregon.edu>.

    AMRC site development

    Funding to build the site was secured from the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium for development during the 1999/2000 academic year. More information about NWACC can be found on the web site at <http://www.nwacc.org>.

    Funds were used to support the planning and development of the Arts Management Research Clearinghouse.  Design of the site is based on two perceived needs in the arts management field: a need to provide more and better opportunities for communication than now exists among dispersed and disparate academic units ; and a need to bridge the divide between academic theory and professional practice in arts management.

    The AMRC web site consists of two main components:

    (1) Static site content, presenting information about research and research methods guidelines; and information about the AMRC site, how to use it and why; and

    (2) Dynamic site content, presenting information in an interactive database including links to resources and research reports; and  features that allows users to comment on resources and to send a page to a colleague.

    Planning phase activities

    The Clearinghouse was designed to foster a productive virtual academic community among students, faculty, and professionals in the area of arts management research in order to improve research, curriculum and communication. A specific goal is to help prepare students to compete in a knowledge-based professional context.

    Three key project activities were planned and completed:

    Activity 1: Identification of a Clearinghouse Planning Committee to design
    related project activities.

    Five key individuals were selected to work as the core Planning Committee during the planning phase of the Clearinghouse project. The committee included the project director, associate director, and three additional members selected from the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) membership. The Planning Committee was responsible for development and formative review of the overall design and content of the Clearinghouse web site, incorporating two main components – the static website content and the searchable database; and building a foundation for an initial Clearinghouse user base. Technical work to build the AMRC site was delivered by staff at PremiereLink, a web design firm located in Eugene, Oregon.

    Activity 2: Creation of a Clearinghouse Advisory Committee.

    An advisory committee was also selected from the membership of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), consisting of five people beyond those identified to function as the Planning Committee. Duties were to provide advice to the Planning Committee about general Clearinghouse operations and services; identify information sites to be electronically linked as part of the web site; and to assist in the building of Clearinghouse participation.

    Activity 3: Evaluative self-review.

    Integral to the implementation of the Clearinghouse planning phase was the collection of data for an exploratory self-review, designed to identify areas of project success and needed improvement. Data collection consisted of an annotation to the original project calendar, selected emails describing process and feedback, a list of project activities, a record of scheduled meetings and communications, and a description of project outcomes at the end of the planning year. These documents and the closing project budget were included as Appendices in the Final Project Report submitted to the granting agency.

    AMRC project development staff
    Project Director: 
    Dr. Linda F. Ettinger, University of Oregon
    Associate Director: 
    Dr. Jane Maitland-Gholson, University of Oregon
    Planning Team:
    Philip Dobard, University of New Orleans
    Joan Jeffri, Columbia University, Teachers College
    Andrew Taylor, University of Wisconsin
    Advisory Team: 
    Dr. Douglas Blandy, University of Oregon
    Annie Storr, American University
    Dan Martin, Carnegie Mellon University
    Cecelia Fitzgibbon, Drexel University
    Dr. Ann Smith, Golden Gate University
    Website Design: 
    PremiereLink Inc., Eugene, Oregon
    Linda F. Ettinger was a member of the University of Oregon Department of Art Education faculty from 1982 - 1993, and continues on the faculty of the Arts & Administration Program.  Her professional activity for the past 20 years has been framed around interdisciplinary, collaborative academic program development.  She served as director of the Pacific Northwest Computer Graphics Conference, drawing together students, faculty and professionals from the arts, sciences and humanities.  She led the design of a multidisciplinary art criticism course, with support from the Getty Center.  She planned an art and law symposium, serving students, faculty, professionals and members of the community.  She has provided academic leadership to the Applied Information Management (AIM) master's degree program in Portland Oregon since 1986, and is currently heading development of an online version of the degree, supported with grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) and eCollege.com.  For more information about AIM, see <www.aimdegree.com>.

    Back Issues:

  • May, 1997. Volume 1, No. 1: A Tool for Analysis of Web Sites' Accessibility to Users with Disabilities. Douglas Blandy, Ph.D.
  • July, 1997. Volume 1, No. 2: The Arts Management Employment Interview. Deborah Snider
  • November, 1997. Volume 1, No. 3: The Invisible Careers for Latinos: Public History and Museum Studies. Miguel Juarez
  • February, 1998. Volume 2, No. 1: Art Crimes: Building a Digital Museum/Graffiti Battle Crown. Susan Farrell
  • April, 1998. Volume 2, No. 2: The Florida Farmworkers Project. Kristin Congdon.
  • June, 1998. Vol. 2, No. 3: The Arts as Commodity, Stan Madeja; The Non-Profit and Commercial Arts: Understanding Future Options, David B. Pankratz
  • September, 1998 Vol. 2 No.4: What Is Community Cultural Development and How Do We Practice It? Bill Flood
  • January, 1999 Vol. 3 No.1: The Rise and Fall of the California Confederation of the Arts: 1976 - 1997. Anne W. Smith
  • April, 1999 Vol. 3 No. 2:  Paul Olum Mobile Hemi-Bust, Michael Randles; Outlaw Murals, Laura Feldman
  • July, 1999. Vol. 3, No. 3: Economic and Leisure Factors Impacting Participation in the Arts by Middle Aged Adults, Gaylene Carpenter, Ed.D.; WESTAF Launches www.artjob.org, Searchable Arts Employment and Opportunities Web Site.
  • September, 1999. Vol. 3, No. 4: Art Teacher Censorship of Student Produced Art in Georgia's Public High Schools. Bruce Bowman
  • January, 2000. Vol. 4, No. 1:  Community Arts Councils: Historical Perspective (Part I.) Maryo Ewell. Family-Focused Programming Between the Arts and Social Services. Barbara Harris
  • April, 2000. Vol. 4, No. 2: Community Arts Councils: Historical Perspective (Part II.) Maryo Ewell; Thinking Ahead: Disaster Preparedness for Museums. Yvonne Lever
  • June, 2000. Vol. 4, No. 3: Community Arts Councils: Historical Perspective (Part III.) Maryo Ewell; Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling? Steve Feld
  • September 2000. Vol. 5, No. 1: Community Arts Councils: Historical Perspective, Maryo Ewell; The Montana Study, Clayton Funk
  • January 2001. Vol. 5, No. 2: Creating an Arts Access Guide on the World Wide Web: Access to Art in Portland, Oregon. Kim Ruthardt Knowles
  • CultureWork is an electronic publication of the University of Oregon Institute for Community Arts Studies. Its mission is to provide timely workplace-oriented information on culture, the arts, education, and community. For links to other sites of interest, see the ICAS Forum.

    CultureWork seeks submissions of concise (500-1500 words) critiques and advisories on community arts and the preparation of community arts workers. Graphics that express the spirit of community arts are welcome, to be published with attribution. Manuscripts should be sent in plain text format (i.e., not MS Word .doc format), via email, on Macintosh or Intel high-density 3.5 inch floppies or zip disks. Use American Psychological Association guidelines for style and citations. Send submissions to Maria Finison at <mfinison@darkwing.uoregon.edu> or via snailmail: care of Arts & Administration Program, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon 97403. If accepted for publication, authors may be asked to make revisions.

     Opinions expressed by authors of CultureWork broadsides do not necessarily express those of the editors, the Institute for Community Arts Studies, or the University of Oregon.

    Arts and Administration | The Institute for Community Arts Studies (I.C.A.S.)

     ©2000 The Institute for Community Arts Studies unless otherwise noted; all other publication rights revert to the author or artist.

     Editor: Richard Bear.  Advisor: Dr. Douglas Blandy.
    Comments to: mfinison@darkwing.uoregon.edu