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In September 2011, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance released its 2011 Portfolio report to help local cultural organizations, funders, civic leaders and policymakers understand the state of the region’s cultural sector. With this article, we want to move from research to action by recapping the key findings and implications of 2011 Portfolio and providing concrete examples of field innovation that align with the report’s ideas.

2011 marks the third issue of Portfolio for the Cultural Alliance, with previous editions released in 2006 and 2008. This time, we were particularly interested in measuring the early impact of the recession. Based on data from the Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project, we included 405 arts and culture institutions in the report, of which 276 provided data for both 2009 and 2007, allowing us to do a recession trend analysis. Here’s what we learned.