Sustaining the Arts through Networks & Peer Learning

Strategic realignment work with FABnyc about how learning spaces and peer networks help sustain arts practitioners through challenging times

“Sustaining the arts through networks & peer learning” is the culmination of our strategic realignment work with FABnyc around how learning spaces and peer networks help sustain arts practitioners through challenging times. When we began this work in 2019, we had little idea how much more challenging our times could get.

Our research with community arts practitioners in New York City shows how the networks and peer learning the arts build are pragmatic forms of mutual aid. The report Buscada designed identifies four central needs, and critical questions to ask yourself, for continuing this important work. 

Read the whole report here. 

"The resilient, powerful conversations that fed this report transform our ways of thinking about the future."
Ryan Gilliam
Executive Director, FABnyc

Four needs for peer learning and sustaining the arts through challenging times

When FABnyc and Buscada began this project in mid-2019, we were interested in how learning spaces and peer networks help arts practitioners sustain themselves through challenging times. We had little idea just how much more challenging our times could get. 2020’s double pandemics of COVID-19 and of long-standing systemic racial violence underlined the urgency of building resilience and making change together. 

The project’s conversations with community arts practitioners in New York City showed us that we are not without a roadmap for facing challenges; the strength and capacity to do that lies in the networks and peer learning that the arts have been building for a long, long time.

This report explores four needs for the future of socially-engaged art, or art in community, that emerged from our research: 

  • reimagine the field
  • work cross-sector
  • create spaces for leadership learning
  • and sustain necessary networks in times of crisis.

The report closes with a series of key questions to ask yourself and your organization, if you are working in or creating a network learning space. Download the report here.

Project support provided by New York Community Trust.