About the Project
How are cultural institutions using digital technologies to further their missions? What can we learn from talking to innovators doing this work?
Like, Link, Share is a report and accompanying website released in December 2014, that highlights examples and lessons learned from legacy cultural institutions that are successfully embracing digital media in their work, whether in artistic creation and artistic programs, audience engagement activities, fund development, operations, or in all of these.
Our goal is to describe the distinctive leadership and organizational capacities required for pioneering work, and to help trustees, grantmakers, and colleague institutions understand the conditions needed and actions taken for success in our increasingly digital culture. Our website, created as an active gallery examples, is also a rich resource of links to projects, social media sites, research reports, and funding information about the 40 organizations included.
This work was commissioned by the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation, and follows the Foundation Center’s important media funding report and its companion digital culture report, Molto + Media, that were published in 2013 in partnership with Media Impact Funders. Wyncote support was key to these prior research projects, reflecting its continuing interest in the health and vitality of nonprofit media.
Foundation staff across the U.S., cultural policymakers, journalists, and peers helped identify the 40 field leaders that our report examines and the website includes. During summer 2014, site visits to eight of these organizations were made in order to see the work first hand, talk with organizational leaders, and learn what conditions are fueling their innovations. For other organizations included, we made shorter visits, talked by phone, or learned about their work from public sources.
Digital innovation presents special challenges for centuries- or generations-old cultural institutions. Converting long-standing internal systems for patron development, audience engagement, and content management is a major undertaking that requires long time-lines and significant expense. At the same time, the skills and mindset needed to participate fully and nimbly in digital culture are outside the career experiences of many senior staff and governing boards in these institutions. As community and audience expectations for engagement change, and contemporary artists and practitioners forge new definitions of their practice, legacy institutions can struggle to adapt.
Our work documents the ways that many legacy institutions are now forging bold new paths in digital culture, paths that are resulting in new avenues of public service and landmark artistic projects. Among the benefits are larger and often younger audiences, deeper audience engagement, new community relationships, new revenue, and renewed program vitality.
Our Invitation to You
Our website is a live repository of examples of digital media investment by legacy cultural institutions, and associated resources. If you have information, examples, and resources to contribute, please be in touch. Contact us via email: LikeLinkShare@lutmanassociates.com
About the Wyncote Foundation
Like, Link, Share was commissioned by the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation. The mission of the Wyncote Foundation is to support efforts that strengthen and enrich culture, community, and the natural environment.
Sarah Lutman, Lutman & Associates
Report & Website Design:
Andee Mazzocco, Whole-Brained Design
Special thanks to:
Rachel Edelman, Haas Associates
Feather Houstoun, Wyncote Foundation
Vince Stehle, Media Impact Funders
All the groups who generously shared time and information with us.
And thanks to artists, without whom there would be no art.