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Springboard for the Arts

Researcher, Growing Value Project

Location: Minnesota - Twin Cities
City: Saint Paul
Type: RFP / RFQ
Category: Executive and management
Salary: $60,000
Deadline: March 30, 2017

Springboard for the Arts seeks qualified researchers to design and execute research methodologies articulating the long-term, community value of art, artists, and access to supported arts resources and infrastructure.

About Springboard for the Arts
Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists, based in Saint Paul and Fergus Falls, MN. Springboard’s work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies, and we believe that artists are an important leverage point in that work. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life. Our programming focuses on supporting the work of artists through professional development, health, and legal resources, and creating systems and programs for communities to connect to the creative power of their artists. We share this work nationally via our Creative Exchange platform ( and by freely sharing our work and creating connections among artists and communities, we work to make substantial, system-wide change.

About Work of Art
Springboard’s Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists is a professional development curriculum designed to teach business skills to artists in all disciplines — visual, performing, literary arts and others. Artists can take the whole series, customized combinations, or individual workshops that best suit their needs. The Work of Art series has been taught by Springboard for the Arts at arts organizations, libraries and colleges in over 80 communities in the Upper Midwest, and replicated across the country. After teaching the workshops to thousands of artists, we decided that we could have our biggest impact by offering this resource as freely and widely as possible. Now the Work of Art Guide and Workbook are available for free digitally as a download, and as a hard copy curriculum.

Project Description
In Summer 2016, Springboard for the Arts began investing in research around the long-term impact of access to artists’ professional development resources like Work of Art. Partnering with Bjørn Peterson, principal at Amplify Strategic Consulting, interviews were conducted with 20 artists who had taken the Work of Art workshops to glean information on their hard skills, resilience and sense of agency developed through Work of Art. A report from the initial steps of this investigation is now available, and can be downloaded here:

With Growing Value, Springboard for the Arts is investing in ongoing research that builds on the initial report and articulates the long-term impact and value of art, artists, and access to supported arts resources and infrastructure. We want to question how arts activity and resilient, supported artists affect economic opportunities, social cohesion and community health. While other organizations work around measuring the economic impacts of arts organizations, Growing Value will focus on holistic, asset-based, community-focused methodologies.

We imagine several levels of impact and benefit to this research. This research will hopefully elevate what are the most important aspects of arts support systems for developing long-term community value and resilience, and articulate key interventions affected by art and artists. We are also excited to hear and learn from what artists are saying about what other resources they are looking for, or potential gaps or shortfalls, in order to better address those needs and cultivate community responses.

A further benefit will be in sharing our methodologies and process. Springboard has a commitment to share abundantly, and by creating tools and toolkits to support other organizations across the country in undertaking this kind of community-based, long-view research, we can help others make the ongoing and secondary benefits of their work and programming more evident.

This RFQ is open to any individual researchers or research firms with experience in community-focused, qualitative-interpretive research methods and innovative analysis and communication strategies.

A total budget of $60,000 is assigned to this research process.

Expected Outcomes
o Design research strategy and methodology to articulate the impact of artists and artists’ infrastructure on long-term impacts on economic opportunities, social cohesion and community health.
o Execute research with a statistically significant pool of artists in Minnesota.
o Analyze and interpret research results into a report, white paper, or otherwise shareable resource for publication.
o Create shareable resource describing methodology and adaptability to other areas of artist-led programming and resources.

To apply
Please submit a letter of interest listing team members, relevant experience and qualifications, along with attachments of, or links to work samples, to Carl Atiya Swanson, Springboard for the Arts Associate Director, at [email protected], with the subject line Growing Value RFQ.

Deadline for submissions: March 30, 2017
Finalists notified by: April 10, 2017
Finalists submit detailed proposals: April 24, 2017
Final selection: May 1, 2017
Final start date: May 17, 2017
Project completion: November 17, 2017