April 2, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 13

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    Cultural Policy Center has new leadership: Farrell named director

    By William Harms
    News Office

    Betty Farrell

    The National Opinion Research Center has announced that Betty Farrell will direct the Cultural Policy Center, a joint initiative of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and NORC. Farrell, who has worked with the Cultural Policy Center, is well known for her work in cultural participation building and inclusivity.

    She currently is Associate Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences and a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate Social Sciences Division. She will begin her new directorship in July.

    “Betty Farrell’s previous experience working with the Cultural Policy Center demonstrates her ability to delve deeply into a subject and transform raw data into information useful and valuable to students, practitioners, policymakers and researchers,” said Norman Bradburn, Co-Director of the Cultural Policy Center and a Senior Fellow at NORC. “She has deep ties to the cultural community, and she understands the leadership needed to effectively communicate the issues facing cultural institutions today.”

    Farrell’s current research project, “Cultural Pluralism in the Chicago Art World,” began with a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project investigates questions of access, diversity and inclusivity across a range of Chicago cultural institutions.

    Farrell received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and has written several books. Her most recent work, Entering Cultural Communities: Diversity and Change in the Nonprofit Arts, edited with Diane Grams and published in 2008, is based on interviews that researchers at the Cultural Policy Center conducted. The researchers spoke with leaders, staff, volunteers and audience members from 85 nonprofit cultural organizations about their efforts to increase participation and the extent to which those efforts succeeded.

    Farrell succeeds Lawrence Rothfield, former Faculty Director and Associate Professor in English Language & Literature, and Carroll Joynes, former Executive Director, who together spent a decade building the program. Bradburn and Joynes currently co-direct the Cultural Policy Center and led the search that resulted in Farrell’s appointment.

    To learn more about the Cultural Policy Center, visit http://culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu.