Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council partners with Jazzspace Consulting

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council is proud to announce a partnership with Jazzspace Consulting for its second iteration of Pittsburgh’s Racial Equity in the Arts report.

This year’s project, supported in part by a National Endowments for the Arts Research Grant, is a 5-year follow-up to the Arts Council’s 2018 Racial Equity and Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh report and will explore if, how, and in what ways arts grantmaking in Greater Pittsburgh has progressed toward distributive justice.

A smiling Black woman with short brown hair who's wearing glasses, a blue necklace and bracelet, and an orange shir
Maggie Johnson Richardson, Jazzspace owner and chief creative strategist

Jazzspace Consulting, which will serve as the project’s research consultant, is a Black-owned, woman-led Pittsburgh-based nonprofit consulting firm with ties to the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

Maggie Johnson Richardson, who founded Jazzspace in 2012, served as the Arts Council’s first director of marketing in the late 2000s. Sadie Treese, Jazzspace's lead consultant on this project and the former senior manager of development systems for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, served as a volunteer member of the Arts Council’s Pittsburgh Arts Research Committee during the first iteration of the report.

“It is our mission to work with leaders of nonprofit organizations, private and public foundations, and other creative changemakers to bring hope and prosperity to all communities,” says Richardson. “We believe making this particular research current, and ensuring its availability to all, will contribute to that mission.”

A smiling white woman with blonde curly hair and a yellow shirt
Sadie Treese, Jazzspace consultant

The Racial Equity and Arts Funding report will reassess racial equity in grant amounts and grant dollars distributed to arts organizations. The research will also gather data on policies, practices, and power structures within funding organizations and dig into their impacts on funding outcomes. If and where changes have resulted in more equitable funding outcomes, the Arts Council will aim to tell those stories in a way that might encourage replication across the national arts funding field.

Jazzspace’s role as a consultant is to incorporate equitable research best practices into the project’s research design, implementation, analysis, and reporting. This includes working directly with the Project Director, the Arts Council’s Director of Research and Special Projects Morgan Kasprowicz, to define the scope of the work and help conceive the final report.

“I am thrilled knowing that our work will be elevated through the guidance of Jazzspace’s strong, intuitive team,” says Kasprowicz.

Jazzspace and Kasprowicz will also work side-by-side throughout this project with the Learning and Leadership Committee, a group of local artists, advocates, and teaching artists who were selected after a public nomination process.

Committee members include: Taliya Allen, Demeatria Boccella, Dr. Amber Epps, Pralhad Gurung, Sharnay Hearn Davis, Dr. Divya Rao Heffley, Mia Hooper, Diane Hunt, Kilolo Luckett, Amanda Neatrour, LaKeisha Wolf, TJ Young, and Alison Zapata.

“I am looking forward to working side-by-side with Jazzpace and our remarkable group of committee members,” says Kasprowicz. “We’ve built a team of folks I not only admire, but ones who I know will ensure our work is representative of the people most impacted by this kind of research.”

The Racial Equity and Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh project is expected to be completed in February 2024, and the report will be made public soon after.



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