Key Questions: What does R&D in the arts look like? What are some emerging innovations in the field and how were they nurtured? What types of innovations would you like to see in the field in the next ten years? Twenty years? What are the hindrances to innovation, and how can they be addressed through R&D?

Reading Material

External Links

  • The James Irvine Foundation’s Arts Innovation Fund — link 
  • Learning From Experiments In Arts Innovation – link
  • Arts Innovations Fund – link
  • A Laboratory for Relevance – Link
  • IDEO – HACKFWD – Link
  • Art as a Way of Knowing – link
  • The Digital R&D fund for the Arts (UK) – link


Jessie Johnston
Grants Management Associate
Leah Reisman
Assistant Research Specialist, Lawrence Hall of Science
Madeleine Wilhite
Operations & Sp.Events Manager, Headlands Center for the Arts
Malia Rose
Education & Public Programs Assistant, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

2013/14 Fellowship Project


The incubator model offers an R&D tool for the arts and cultural sector, both as a source for new research and as a springboard for emerging organizations, business practices, and artists in a sector oft-characterized as struggling with sustainability. We propose that arts incubators are worthy of research, both as an edification tool for the sector and as a potential source of new ideas and practices such that arts and cultural organizations can become more adaptive and sustainable, better foster innovation, and embrace risk-taking and failure as essential steps in the art-making process. To this end we are creating “IN.CU.BATE,” a curated online guide that explores what arts incubators are, why they may be important to the sector, and what other organizations can learn from them.

INTERVIEWS  Conversations with movers and shakers working with and thinking about incubators in the creative sector.

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FORUM  Our thoughts and reflections on current issues and events related to the work of arts incubators. Chime in to join the conversation!

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RESOURCES  A clearinghouse for relevant research, writing and tools, as well as a database of currently operating creative incubators.

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