The RCAC was founded in 1985 at Columbia University and created over three decades of research, mostly on individual artists from many disciplines and in many cities in the United States, nationally and with some international work. While its data are housed at ICPSR at the University of Michigan, this website acts as an archive to preserve its history, activities, oral histories, videos, and reports in the service of artists and the arts.
Legacy work in the visual and performing arts
“What is honored in a country is cultivated there.”
— Plato, Republic, Book VIII
« Meet the artists, educators, fellows and partners who are working together to preserve artistic legacies in ART CART …
« Meet the professionals who are working together to preserve artistic legacies in the Performing Arts Legacy Project …
Our Call to Action
The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) is an archive that provides data and ideas for applied research, education, advocacy, policy making, and action. The imperiled legacy of older professional visual artists, the complex challenges facing dancers as they transition out of performance careers, the communities and support structures of jazz musicians, are critical to the arts’ sustainability. Cultural policy, labor relations, and legal issues give us a platform for our data; curriculum development, leadership training and public events link us to the future. Read more »
Who We Serve
Artists, arts institutions, academics, researchers, private funders, policy makers and students all use RCAC research and resources for a variety of purposes. Although the data are distributed to a wide array of constituents, a frequent request for data comes from individual artists. These data show that many artists have similar career paths, goals, and obstacles, particularly in relation to their status in society.
The PERFORMING ARTS LEGACY PROJECT is an online platform to help older professionals in the performing arts to document their careers. It is an initiative of the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) at the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund). Discover some of the sites that performers, directors, producers and others have created … and register your own account to get started. Learn more »