Adaptive Capacity: Necessary Components & Strategies for Contemporary Non-Profit Arts and Cultural Organizations
This thesis is an analysis of the adaptive capacity of contemporary non-profit arts and cultural organizations. I will consider three organizations as case studies to animate this analysis: Hyde Park Art Center, Verba Buena Center for the Arts and McColl Center for Art + Innovation. The purpose of this is to understand how innovation, creativity, improvisation, and leadership function as components of adaptive capacity to identify what organizational characteristics are required to create an adaptive arts and cultural organization in the 21st century. By placing an emphasis on components of adaptive capacity, non-profit arts and cultural organizations can increase their ability to react to emerging scenarios and ongoing ecosystem changes. Creating an adaptive organization requires organizations to look inward at team structures and skill sets, as well as face outward to respond to its environment and to maintain and reevaluate its relevance within the communities it operates. Serving as case studies for adaptive capacity, these three organizations exemplify sustainability and resiliency as an ongoing, fluid strategy. The final part of this thesis brings together characteristics of adaptive capacity to identify and synthesize strengths and vulnerabilities of each organization. It also considers the role increased adaptive capacity plays in connection to the sustained vitality of arts and culture in the public and civic arena.