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October 3, 2011 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Funders announce the launch of the DC Cultural Data Project!

We’re excited to announce that today marks the launch of the DC Cultural Data Project (www.dcculturaldata.org), an online management tool designed to strengthen the management capacity of the District’s arts and cultural sector. Operated by Pew Charitable Trusts, the CDP collects operational, financial, and programmatic data on the District’s nonprofit arts and cultural sector.

Why collect this kind of data? Arts and cultural nonprofits can use the CDP to generate annual, trend, and comparison reports to increase their management capacity and inform their decision-making. Arts funders, by using these reports as part of their application process, can access data that will help them evaluate their grantmaking strategies and outcomes. Ultimately, the CDP will allow arts advocates to better demonstrate the vital role the sector plays in the economic life of the District.

Michael Bigley, program officer for the arts and humanities at the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and chair of WRAG’s Arts and Humanities Working Group, says:

The Cultural Data Project comes to D.C. at a crucial time for arts and culture nonprofits, when we all need to be telling our story to the community at large. In addition to creating internal efficiencies, the CDP will provide concrete data on the impact of the local scene that hasn’t been available before. That can only help create a deeper case for arts and culture support in this difficult economy.

The Cultural Data Project is available for free to all of D.C.’s arts and culture nonprofits thanks to the leadership of the Arts and Humanities Working Group (AHWG), which reached out to Pew and began fundraising to launch the CDP in the District in 2010. AHWG formed the DC CDP Task Force, consisting of WRAG, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Meyer Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, and the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities. The Launch Advisory Committee, consisting of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, the Cultural Development Corporation, Cultural Tourism D.C., the D.C. Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, and TheatreWashington, also provided critical support and guidance.

Grantmakers: For more information about the DC CDP and to learn how to get involved, please contact Jenny Snyder, CDP Associate at Pew Charitable Trusts, at jsnyder@pewtrusts.org.

Grantseekers: CDP is hosting free orientation sessions in October. Click here for more information and to register.

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