Cultural Institutions & a Thriving Society


Key Questions

  • How do institutions embrace, preserve, challenge, or use knowledge about specific cultures to increase the opportunities for all people to thrive?
  • What value do cultural institutions play in human development?
  • How do cultural institutions serve as vectors for advancing social good?

We believe that people engage with cultural institutions at the midpoint in a conversation. They come together to think with and about material culture, values, and the roles they ascribe to these institutions as social actors. We explore the intersections between personal inquiry and the social purpose that cultural institutions seek to achieve through their work. When we think of cultural institutions, we include a broad range of organizations and associations. Institutions include informal learning organizations, like libraries, museums, and science centers, as well as professional associations and networks. We support cultural institutions and networks with social science research and synthesis to help their constituents succeed.