Figuring the Plural is an examination of ethnocultural, or ethnically/culturally specific, arts organizations in Canada and the U.S. These organizations possess enormous potential to assist in the negotiation process for a shared, diverse national identity, and they serve as cultural advocates, cultural interpreters, facilitators of cross-cultural understanding and communication, keepers of ethnic tradition, and/or sites where prejudice is exposed and challenged.
Despite their invaluable services, ethnocultural arts organizations have received little attention within the arts community. The Plural research project aims to heighten awareness, provide new insights, and lead to the strengthening of existing support structures and/or the creation of innovative approaches to bolstering the work of this important segment of the arts and culture field.
Figuring the Plural fills this information void by assessing existing research and developing new research on the characteristics, needs, and support systems of ethnocultural arts organizations. The research addresses the following specific questions:
1. What are the current characteristics, needs, and challenges of Canadian and U.S. ethnocultural arts organizations as a whole, and how do organizations targeting different racial groups compare regarding their characteristics, needs, challenges, and support systems?
2. How many support systems currently have programs that focus on ethnocultural arts organizations, what services do they provide, where are they located, and what are their target ethnic group(s)?
3. Do the services offered by support systems correlate with the needs of ethnocultural arts organizations?