As in other nonprofit sectors, most energy and resource in our sector is focused on what the authors call “isolated impact” at the organizational level. Can the full value of arts and culture in society, to enhance lives and deepen democracy, be realized through this approach or do these complex possibilities need a different strategy? When discussion in the cultural field turns to collective action, it tends to turn toward lobbying and advocacy and changing public opinions of the arts. This article suggests a different focus for collective action: changing the system in which action is taken by nonprofit organizations to improve coordination and have a greater collective impact on society. Could a system of collaboration help you and your community deliver on a larger cause?
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