Carole  Rosenstein Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Carole Rosenstein

Associate Professor of Arts Management
George Mason University

Carole Rosenstein studies cultural policy. cultural democracy, cultural equity, and the social life of the arts and culture. She has led commissioned research for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Urban Institute. Dr. Rosenstein holds a PhD in cultural anthropology, and she employs qualitative approaches and interpretation as well as quantitative data and analysis in her work.


Carole Rosenstein has in-depth, on-the-ground knowledge of arts centers all around the U.S., having led field studies in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Fransisco, Boston, Seattle, Santa Fe, New Orleans, and coastal Maine.

Carole teaches courses in Arts and Cultural Policy, Cultural Planning, Research in Arts Management, and the Arts in Society to Arts Management graduate students.  She has been teaching since 2008.  

In 2007, Carole was Rockefeller Humanities Fellow in Cultural Policy at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, DC.  She used that time to work on cultural redevelopment projects in post-Katrina New Orleans.

From 2000-2007, Carole worked on the cultural policy portfolio at the Urban Institute, where she was a research associate in the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.  The Urban Institute is home to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), which holds IRS Form 990 data for all nonprofit organizations in the U.S.  

From 1990-1995, Carole took time away from the academy to travel and work as a campaigner for Greenpeace.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    > cultural policy
    > arts policy
    > artist policy
    > state/sub-national cultural policy
    > city/local cultural policy
    > public finance of arts and cultural organizations
    > general operating support to arts and cultural organizations
    > NCCS data
    > data on arts, culture, and humanities organizations
    > ethnic arts organizations
    > community-based arts and cultural organizations
    > folklife organizations
    > nonprofit humanities organizations
    > arts festivals




Signs and Society

Indian Market, A Tournament of Values

Published: Sep 01, 2014 by Signs and Society
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

Following Bourdieu, the process of commoditization has been understood as the most socially significant process that art undergoes. That understanding presupposes the power of economic value, the order of value that all others must resist or be overtaken by. This article analyzes Santa Fe Indian Market as a tournament of values, where various orders of value compete for legitimacy and authority and where an administrative order of value has great social significance.

Cultural Trends

The Distribution and Policy Implications of U.S. State Government General Operating Support to the Arts and Culture: Lessons from the Great Recession

Published: Sep 18, 2013 by Cultural Trends
Authors: Carole Rosenstein, Vanessa Riley, Natalia Rocha and Tyler Boenecke

The Great Recession brought renewed attention to the importance of general operating support (GOS) to sustaining nonprofit arts and culture organizations. After the Culture Wars of the 1990s, federal GOS disappeared and philanthropy turned away from providing such unrestricted funds. This article uses data from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) supplemented with new data on line items to map state-level GOS support and analyze the equity of its distribution.

Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society

The MFA in Arts Management

Published: May 14, 2013 by Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

This brief study asks whether the MFA can serve as the viable credential for academically trained Arts Administration/Management faculty. The analysis suggests that there is no consensus about which advanced degree best reflects academic expertise relevant to all components of the field and that standards remain too unclear for the MFA to serve as a viable credential across artistic disciplines.

City, Culture and Society

Cultural Development and City Neighborhoods

Published: Mar 01, 2011 by City, Culture and Society
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

This article examines four defining characteristics of city cultural policy and traces the impacts of these characteristics on cultural development and the cultural life of neighborhoods, arguing that when city cultural agencies do not consciously and actively incorporate communities and their needs into cultural development, their policies and programs can in fact conflict with and threaten the cultural health of urban neighborhoods.

National Endowment for the Arts

Live From Your Neighborhood: A Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals. Volume II: Case Studies.

Published: Nov 01, 2010 by National Endowment for the Arts
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

This is a report on the field-based case studies that made up a part of the first national study of arts festivals in the United States. The study was commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts.

International Journal of Cultural Policy

When is a Museum a Public Museum? Considerations from the Perspective of Public Finance

Published: Jun 23, 2010 by International Journal of Cultural Policy
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

Money has dimensions of significance that can only be understood by looking at the mechanisms through which it moves. In other words, money does not express strictly numerate relations. For example, the degree of directness through which government dollars are delivered to a museum tells us something important about the museum’s public status. Acknowledging this multivalence can be valuable for developing nuanced theory about the relationships between cultural economics and cultural policy.

Institute for Museum and Library Services

Exhibiting Public Value: Museum Public Finance in the United States

Published: Dec 01, 2008 by Institute for Museum and Library Services
Authors: Carlos Manjarrez, Carole Rosenstein, Celeste Colgan and Erica Pastore

This is a report on the first nationwide study of museum public finance in the United States. The study was commissioned by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency of the U.S. government.

Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society

Nonprofit Cultural Heritage Organizations: Baseline Data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics

Published: Aug 07, 2007 by Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society
Authors: Carole Rosenstein and Amy Brimer

Reporting on a significant data cleaning and reorganization initiative, this article provides a first look at a set of nonprofit organizations and programs that have previously lacked definition as a coherent component of the nonprofit arts, culture, and humanities: nonprofit ethnic, cultural, and folk organizations.

The Urban Institute

Diversity and Participation in the Arts

Published: Oct 01, 2005 by The Urban Institute
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

This policy brief argues that the types of arts participation measured by the National Endowment for the Arts' Survey of Public Participation in the Arts systematically bias its results.

Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society

Conceiving Artistic Work in the Formation of Artist Policy: Thinking Beyond Disinterest and Autonomy

Published: Mar 01, 2004 by Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

This article takes on the problem of conceiving artistic work by critiquing practical suggestions about how to enhance artists’ career development and longevity that are founded on the idea that truly artistic work must be protected from the market (i.e., must be disinterested) and must be ascribed to individual talents rather than collective endeavor (i.e., must be autonomous). Analysis of interview data shows that such ideas may lead to policies that actually create barriers for artists.


The Object, the Mirror and the Cabinet of Wonders: Iconicity and the Pragmatic Semiotics of Material Culture

Published: Mar 01, 2003 by Semiotica
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

This article argues that it is necessary to delineate participant ethnosemiotic frameworks in order to analyze the representational functioning of iconic signs.


An Object in Its Own Domain: How Hispano New Mexican Santos are Situated in Space

Published: Jan 01, 2002 by Ethnologies
Authors: Carole Rosenstein

Hispano santos might be seen as prototypical commodified folk art objects lacking cultural authenticity and performative power. This article argues that santos are objects with a characteristic situation in space that invests them with a power to enclose or encompass disparate forms. Viewed in this way, santos can be recognized as powerful mediators of difference whose potency transcends the interethnic sacred, civic, art world, market and even the research contexts in which they move.