Metrics you can use with confidence to make the case for your arts and cultural cause. More about Research and Advocacy.

Examples of Research and Advocacy by Barb Whitney

Americans for the Arts

  • State Policy Pilot Program. Three-year gap analysis of policy and practice across the United States, including interviews with stakeholders in 50-state qualitative interviews and proving unequal access to arts education in our schools.

Washtenaw County

Arts & Creative Education Integration or Student Excellence (ACEISE) Washtenaw County PreK-12 Arts Education Plan entitling every student in Washtenaw County equitable access to high-quality, consistent, sequential, standards-based arts + creative education as part of an integral right to a well-rounded and excellent education.

Master’s Thesis

Arts Education: A Fundamental Right for Youth in the United States of America. A call to action to engage stakeholders to collectively improve the lives of students, our communities, and our society.

Are you interested in research for your organization? Reach out!


Examples of successful grants and fundraising tactics:

  • Arts Council of Greater Lansing
  • City of Lansing
  • Comerica Foundation
  • Desk Drawer Fund (MSUFCU)
  • Downtown Lansing, Inc.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit
  • Going Pro Talent Fund
  • Ingham County Hotel/Motel Funds for Arts and Culture
  • LEAP Restart Grant
  • Mariel Foundation
  • Michigan Arts and Culture Council
  • Our Community Foundation
  • Payroll Protection Program
  • R.E. Olds Foundation
  • Rotary Foundation
  • Team Lansing Foundation
  • Uplift Our Youth


My work is driven by a belief that the arts are a human right as a vehicle for freedom of speech and a means to overcome poverty. It is my dream to lead change by engaging stakeholders in arts education in support of children’s learning to benefit students, schools, and communities.  I champion youth arts education in our country, because it improves students’ school experiences and their lives. I recognize the value of policy; yet I am a change agent ready to reconfigure the system.

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Pictured: Student and family member from Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center’s Art Has No Barriers program

In my previous role as the executive director for Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, I served from 2014-2022 ushering in leadership diversity, created free educational programming, and made strategic partnerships for greater accessibility. Our mission is to provide public awareness, education and enjoyment of the visual arts by promoting the works of Michigan artists. Our volunteer program has doubled due to a new, robust internship program. In 2017, we launched an inaugural Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition to create access for emerging artists statewide. We are driving community engagement through public art, exhibitions, and education.

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I believe leaders create authentic and inspired connections within their community. They are motivating and offer a call to action with clear ways to appropriately engage. They share hard truths and lead people to better understand themselves and their greater community. I am describing the leader I strive to become. Together, our community is igniting passion for the visual arts, providing a forum for self-expression and engagement in Lansing, Michigan.

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