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Gwendolyn Rugg

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Scientist
Gwendolyn leads NORC’s portfolio of arts and culture-related research studies and program evaluations.

Gwendolyn is a senior research scientist in the Academic Research Centers, where she leads NORC’s portfolio of arts and culture-related research studies and program evaluations with and for partners in the not-for-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors. She also collaborates with colleagues to bridge this content area with other key areas of specialization at NORC, including health and wellbeing, economic opportunity, workforce development, and community development.

While at NORC she has served as project director on a number of studies and program evaluations related to artistic and cultural engagement. In this capacity she builds collaborator relationships, leads proposal bids, and oversees data collection activities, development of reports, and communication of findings to varied stakeholders. At NORC she has led work in partnership with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the William Penn Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, ArtPlace America, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to conducting numerous studies with partners at nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and higher education institutions.

Prior to joining NORC, she worked at the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, where she was involved with research studies, national and international conferences, public programs, and publications focused on the most pressing current issues in the U.S. cultural sector. She also spent several years working within arts and cultural organizations, from conducting curatorial research at the Art Institute of Chicago to overseeing public programming and exhibition development on topics of arts, culture, and the humanities at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Project Contributions

Feeding America’s Child & Family Choice Program

The first rigorous assessment of increasing choice for food pantries and the families they serve


Feeding America National Office (FANO)

Brightening the Spotlight: Native Creators in the Performing Arts

How funders and presenters can better support Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists


First Peoples Fund