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Community Listening Project: Method

Over the past few years, the Cultural Alliance and our arts partners have seen historic patterns of art support shifting in our community. We realized that we needed to change or risk irrelevancy.

In 2017, the Cultural Alliance of York County started an in-depth design thinking process with our partner Design Quake to identify how we can reposition the organization for relevance and sustainability that will ensure arts and culture in York will thrive for years to come.

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Background Research

Before launching our community listening project, we carried out months of qualitative and quantitative research that examined what our work has meant to York County since we were founded 20 years ago, and benchmarked our results with other united arts funds across the country to compare/contrast how funding for the arts has shifted and changed throughout communities large and small.

Empathy Interviews

We hosted in-depth empathy interviews with York County arts organizations, community leaders, our donors, and residents to find out what is most important, learn their successes/challenges, and gain a deeper understanding of their needs.

Ideation Sessions

We held interactive idea generating sessions with artists, cultural organizations, and volunteers to help us identify what the components of a new model of the Cultural Alliance might look like, and what resources are vital to the sustainability of the arts in our community.

Prototype Development And Testing

Based on our research findings and needs analysis, and the learnings from our ideation sessions, we developed multiple models of how we might move forward as an organization and put them back in front of those same stakeholders to get their feedback.

These stakeholders included partner organizations, corporate donors, volunteers, and community leaders. Over the next 18 months, we will continue to seek input from our cultural partners, donors, and the community to refine and strengthen the Cultural Alliance’s model of operation.