How Cultural Heritage Organizations Serve Communities

Brief

How Cultural Heritage Organizations Serve Communities

Priorities, Strengths, and Challenges
November 7, 2006

Abstract

Across the United States, nonprofit cultural heritage organizations serve communities by helping people to remember their shared experiences and aspirations, building and sustaining a sense of community through fairs, folklife programs, public celebrations of music, food, and holidays. This brief uses NCCS Form 990 data to examine the finances and programs of these organizations. It finds that cultural heritage organizations tend to be small, to blend program areas, to make cultural difference central to their work, and they show important program and organizational variation across ethnic groups. These key characteristics should be taken into account when supporting cultural heritage organizations.

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