Arts Engaged
Engage Now


The Industry Responds

Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the United States

A "Why To" Book on Community Engagement

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I think the days of the arts in ivory towers are behind us; the very best arts organizations are . . . connecting communities with artists. . . .
Not only can the arts build communities, I think we must.
Rocco Landesman
, Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

 Doug Borwick calls for substantive rather than superficial efforts, authentic and systemic changes.
The challenge is not whether to build communities or audiences but how to build communities and audiences together.
Robert L. Lynch
, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

The future of the arts, indeed the future of a healthy world, lies in artists and communities embracing each other. . . . New habits of mind and practice may be necessary for artists; new habits of thought and work may be needed in communities. But when they succeed in finding and fulfilling their common purpose, we will have reclaimed the legacy of community that sprang forth around pre-historical campfires, the flames next to which the arts were born.
Ben Cameron, Former Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

I would suggest that relevance . . . is not a goal that arts institutions can pursue directly; rather, it is a side effect of transcending the need to be appreciated, preserved, and supported in perpetuity and, instead, eagerly serving the needs of their communities. Doing so requires preparation for and commitment to engagement as described in this book.
Diane Ragsdale, Cultural critic, author, speaker

There has never been a time when we needed to be in communities with one another more, and the arts can lead the way.
Russell Willis Taylor
, Former President and CEO, National Arts Strategies

Engage Now! A Guide To Making The Arts Indispensable

A "How To" Manual for Becoming Invaluable


The first sentence of most artists’ bios includes where they live and work; artists are inextricably rooted in community. In a clear, compelling, and concise volume, Doug Borwick presents a playbook for arts organizations that want to follow that lead and become as indispensable as the corner store.
Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America

Doug Borwick is an eloquent and persuasive voice in a global conversation about the power of the arts to transform our society. With his book he offers a practical prescription to ignite that power, starting at home, in our own communities.
Simon Brault, author, No Culture, No Future;
Director, CEO, Canada Council for the Arts. 

What does it mean to be relevant to your community?  Doug Borwick gives arts and culture groups some great advice about engaging more of the population, growing your organization and increasing opportunity for successful operations and artistic expression.
Janet Brown, Former President & CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts

What would our communities look like if more arts organizations mastered the art of community engagement?  Doug Borwick connects the dots between artistry and citizenry and provides inspiring advice about how the arts sector can play a more powerful role in the public life of our communities.
Ra Joy, Former Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

 In Engage Now! Doug Borwick takes the premise that the arts should be a public service, a means to the improvement of community life, and lays out clearly and practically how that premise applies to the decisions that artists and arts organizations have to make in order to define and achieve their missions. The useful analysis of trends and factors affecting participation in the arts, the pertinence and quality of the cases cited to illustrate the premise, and the principles and tools presented make this book a distinctively valuable guide for how to integrate arts management and community development.
Jonathan Katz, Former CEO, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

 In this accessible follow up to his first volume, Doug Borwick probes arts organizations to evaluate just how symbiotic their relationship with their community is and provides leading action steps to building a stronger, more sustainable connection with the people that such communities serve.
Robert Lynch, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts 

Engage Now! delivers as an expert, comprehensive resource as well as a guiding light for the future of the nonprofit arts. Doug Borwick constructs a framework for becoming an engagement-centered, community-focused field, leading to increased visibility and relevance.
Josephine Ramirez, Former Arts Program Director, James Irvine Foundation

 Borwick masterfully reconstructs community engagement beyond “policyspeak.” Focusing on the mutual interests of arts organizations and communities, Engage Now! dissects commonly-held precepts and forces us to re-examine our perspectives. Borwick leaves no question unasked, presenting a timely and deeply relevant assertion, and proving why he is the authority on community engagement work.
Alan Salzenstein, Former President, Association of Arts Administration Educators
Professor of Performing Arts Management/Arts Leadership, DePaul University

Engage Now! presents an effective analysis of the forces that impact the arts sector and a useful framework for the modern opera company. Doug Borwick provides a clear guide to taking on the necessary efforts to broaden our missions, serve our communities and increase the impact of the arts.
Marc A. Scorca, President & CEO, OPERA America