Leading Arts and Culture Research Organization Slover Linett Joins NORC at the University of Chicago
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Move combines both organizations’ strengths in arts, culture, and community research to provide even more powerful insights for equity, innovation, and change.
CHICAGO, September 19, 2023 — Slover Linett Audience Research, a leading research and evaluation practice in the arts and culture field, has joined NORC at the University of Chicago and will become Slover Linett at NORC. By joining together, NORC and Slover Linett become a preeminent provider of community, audience, and participant research for the U.S. cultural sector, bringing unprecedented depth and resources to studying the range of needs, experiences, perspectives, outcomes, and values surrounding arts and cultural engagement. The merged practices will also be able to explore new, more inclusive research methods and continue broadening the definitions and assumptions around cultural participation in the U.S. through in-depth, action-oriented research.
“By joining NORC, we enter an incredible new era for our whole team, with new tools and resources to bring to the cultural sector, new intersections to explore with other NORC practice areas, and amazing new colleagues to learn from and collaborate with,” said Peter Linett, co-founder of Slover Linett and now a senior fellow at NORC. “By combining our organizations, we can produce cutting-edge insights that go deeper than either organization could go on its own.”
Slover Linett has 24 years of experience conducting rigorous, innovative, and equity-focused audience research and evaluation studies in the performing and digital arts, museums, public media, parks and public spaces, science engagement, cultural philanthropy, and other areas of cultural and community engagement. Together, NORC and Slover Linett look forward to exploring the intersections between culture and NORC’s other social-sector practice areas and offering clients even more valuable thought partnership.
“I’m excited to support Slover Linett’s wonderful team and ensure that they can continue doing the vital work of helping arts and culture organizations understand their communities and become more relevant and inclusive,” said Michael Reynolds, NORC senior vice president and director of The Bridge at NORC. “There is so much that we at NORC can contribute to their work and so much we are eager to learn from them about the perspectives and approaches Slover Linett has developed working in this unique field. Together, we’ll be able to take more risks and tackle new and bigger questions about communities, audiences, and the future of cultural engagement.”
This new partnership deepens NORC’s longstanding commitment to the cultural sector, which has included major studies for the Poetry Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation’s arts program, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation, as well as current research with the Mellon Foundation, First Peoples Fund, and other national and place-based cultural funders and providers.
Slover Linett’s new home will be in The Bridge at NORC, the department where arts and culture research has long been part of NORC’s portfolio of societal, educational, and equity and justice research. Fittingly for Slover Linett’s client-driven research practice, The Bridge is NORC’s connection between research and on-the-ground practice, as well as between NORC and scholars at the University of Chicago and other leading colleges and universities.
All of Slover Linett’s employees have joined the NORC staff and will be based in NORC’s Hyde Park office on the campus of the University of Chicago. Slover Linett at NORC will continue to provide client-centered research, evaluation, and thought partnership to organizations across the field of creativity and culture, including small, community-connected organizations and equity-focused projects.
Slover Linett has also conducted large national studies, such as the pandemic-era research collaboration Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation: A Special Edition of Culture Track, and has worked with cultural organizations and funders large and small, from the Metropolitan Opera, Smithsonian Institution, and Knight Foundation to the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, StoryCorps, and OF/BY/FOR ALL.