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Study Shows How Fleisher is Adapting to Shifting Demographics

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Aug 13, 2015

In response to shifting community demographics, Fleisher Art Memorial (Philadelphia, PA) set out to build awareness and a sense of trust by increasing its presence in the community and working to create an inclusive environment at the school itself, according to a case study recently released by the Wallace Foundation.

As demographics in local communities change – in some cases leading to an influx of residents that do not necessarily feel welcome at existing arts institutions – organizations need tools for reorienting their audience engagement. Through a variety of approaches, Fleisher has made significant progress: “One quarter of the students in on-site classes and workshops now come from Southeast Philadelphia, up from one-fifth, and teens and children from that area now constitute 36 percent of Fleisher’s on-site youth programs, up from 25 percent.”

Some of the lessons in the report include:

  • The need to get staff on board first and equip them with the right skills;
  • The importance of building relationships with other community organizations; and
  • The power of data to help understand the task at hand, set goals, and measure progress.


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About Fleisher Art Memorial

Fleisher is a source of inspiration, creativity, and community.  Every year, more than 17,000 people experience the transformative power of art by participating in our studio classes, exhibitions, and community based programming.  We are a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the vision of our founder, Samuel S. Fleisher, who believed that art is one of society’s greatest assets and equalizers, and from the doorway of his Graphic Sketch Club, “invited the world to come and learn art.”

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. www.nationalguild.org