Working in Museums and CSR/CCI. I thought these two different topics might be interesting to ponder. The first focuses on the good and bad of the professionalization of the arts workplace. The second topic looks at a wide range of issues connected to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Community Involvement (CSR/CCI).

Museum Work and the Mundane Parts

Seema Roa’s short article from the Museum 2.0 blog focuses on working in museums that don’t always do a great job of aligning people, projects, and goals. “The big questions are, how can people make changes to improve the working conditions, and how can leaders help organizations run better?” While the arts workplace may be increasingly more professionalized, that doesn’t mean it is in sync with the leadership dynamics in an organization. One example that demonstrates this issue is more common than we would like to admit: spending excessive amounts of time on reports that are not acted upon. Capturing data, analyzing it, reporting findings, and making recommendations that never seem to be followed is frustrating and demoralizing for staff and demonstrates potential leadership challenges in an organization. Given how much work needs to be done, can we afford to squander time like this?

Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Involvement (CSR/CCI) in 2019

This report (PDF link is below) from around 2015 offers us a chance to reflect on the current status of CSR and CCI in America. Discussions could be incorporated into topics related to chapters 11 and 12 – marketing and fundraising. For example, questions could be posed about how well CSR/CCI is working in your community? Or, trends in CSR/CCI could be examined in light of the Giving USA 2019 report on corporate support. The CSR/CCI report conclusion notes that “many corporations are re-orienting their philanthropic giving to focus more strategically on community development and social issues.” Does that statement align with what has been going on in your community?

I hope these topics are of some value to you as you grapple with issues related to the evolving field of arts management and managing in the arts.

Best wishes,

Bill Byrnes


Museum Work

By Seema Rao, Museum 2.0, November 5, 2019

This month, we’re talking about work. Not the work we do, but the ways we do that work.

While many American museums require 37.5 or 38 hours of work a week, most of us put in way more. In some old jobs I’ve had, particularly when I was full-time at part-time, juggling multiple roles, I regularly put in 100 hours a week. I came from a family that did that, so it seemed normal, though my relatives were all earning considerably more for their 100 hours a week.

I’m setting wages aside this month. Trust me, I know they are important. Salary is, often, the way organizations signal your worth. This is particularly evident when organizations pay greater salaries to certain departments overall than others. And, as Phillip Thompson said inour panel last week, the museum business model sets up problems for our field, because we are always trapped by the amount of money we can raise. Therefore, the whole issue of wages gets at the heart of the faulty systems of capitalism, the culture of women’s work, and museums as privilege-concentrating institutions. In other words, wage is enormous conversation and deserves its own month down the road.

This month though, I want to deal with something a bit more manageable. How we do our work and how we can improve it. The big questions are, how can people make changes to improve the working conditions, and how can leaders help organizations run better?

For the full posting go to


Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts

By Lynn E. Stern

Excerpt from Executive Summary

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts presents findings from a research project initiated and led by Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts. Building on Animating Democracy’s 2010 Trend or Tipping Point: Arts & Social Change Grantmaking, this report offers a first snapshot of how corporations and corporate foundations engage arts and culture to achieve their CSR/CCI goals. The report is based on research about recent U.S. corporate giving patterns and trends, as well as telephone interviews with corporate leaders, CSR/CCI officers, and corporate foundation executives whose companies support arts and culture as a strategy to achieve their CSR/CCI goals. It represents one facet of an updated look at private sector support of arts, community, civic, and social change in the United States that Animating Democracy will release in 2015.

The report identifies three main CSR/CCI drivers that are shifting the focus on the kinds of arts and cultural projects, programs, and organizations that corporations are interested in and supporting. These drivers are: 1) to enhance corporate investments in community and economic development, education, and health and other priority issue areas; 2) to promote and reinforce company mission, core values, and brand; and 3) to achieve internal CSR/CCI goals, such as employee engagement/volunteerism and workforce diversity. Achieving CSR goals through art is a path of experimentation for some corporations, while others are supporting programs and organizations with sustained investment for the greatest potential community or social impact. Following are some key themes and observations about how corporations are supporting arts and culture in relation to CSR/CCI drivers.

For more information about CSR and the full report, please click on the links below: