Centerpieces and Special Reports

Directed to theatre staff and board members, this section offers in-depth analyses, case studies, and resource tools on specific management issues, as well as reports on research conducted by TCG's Research, Policy & Collective Action department. Topics include governance, marketing, development, education, and general management issues and are curated by specialists in each area. Select from the topics below to see all Centerpieces or Special Reports in that category. Please contact Ilana B. Rose, associate director of research & collective action, at with any questions.



February 2017: Special Report on Education 2015

The TCG Special Report on Education 2015 begins with a focus on the role of education programs in equity, diversity, and inclusion programming and initiatives, which represent a long-standing core value at TCG. Reflections from staff at seven Member Theatres are presented in this report. They explore how education programs identify the stories that are told, collaborate with teaching artists who reflect the diversity of audiences and communities, purposefully design programs to embrace the country’s diversity, and focus programs on the diverse backgrounds of student participants. These narratives are followed by an analysis of data from TCG Education Survey 2015, in which 99 Member Theatres participated, and a presentation of education-specific data from the 198 Member Theatres that participated in TCG Fiscal Survey 2015.

February 2016: Special Report on Education 2014

The TCG Special Report on Education 2014 begins with a note about the December, 2015 signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which includes key provisions that support access to arts education, and then presents reflections from six Member Theatres on the relationships among education programming, overall mission, and revenue generation at each of these unique organizations. These narratives are followed by an analysis of data from TCG Education Survey 2014, in which 99 Member Theatres participated, and a presentation of education-specific data from the 177 Member Theatres that participated in TCG Fiscal Survey 2014.

December 2014: Special Report on Education 2013

The Special Report on Education 2013 begins with a note about the release of the 2014 National Core Arts Standards in June 2014 and then presents reflections from staff at six theatres, whichillustrate the essential impact of various education and community partnerships on their theatres and their communities. This year’s report features improved graphics and analysis of the results of TCG Education Survey 2013 and education-related data from TCG Fiscal Survey 2013.

December 2013: Special Report on Education 2012: Arts Education at the Core

This year's Special Report on Education 2012includes reflections on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which were developed to measure student preparedness for college and future career success. TCG asked six Education Directors from the field to share their perspectives on the CCSS and how they've adapted their programs to align with these new standards. The release of the National Core Arts Standards is slated to be released in the spring of 2014.

December 2012: Special Report on Education: Indispensable Resources: Education Survey 2011

This Special Report onEducation 2011 culls together valuable arts education resources from 2012, including the Arts Education Partnership’s on-line Arts Education Toolkit on Arts Access; AEP’s new on-line research and policy clearinghouse,; the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Turnaround Arts Initiative; and a new research report published by the National Endowment for the Arts on arts education for at-risk youth. This report also highlights the results of the TCG Education Survey 2011.

November 2011: On Turning 50: Education Survey 2010

This year’s Education Centerpiece begins with an introduction by Daniel Renner, director of education at Denver Center Theatre Company, who reflects upon education at TCG and in the field at TCG’s 50th anniversary. Renner’s introduction leads into field reflections on education sessions at the 2011 TCG National Conference in Los Angeles. Also included in this Centerpiece are this year’s tabulations from the 2010 Education Survey results and staff notes from the Conference.

October 2010: Moving Forward: Theatre Education Assessment Models Phase 2: Education Survey 2009

This year’s Education Centerpiece, with an introduction by Daniel Renner, director of education at the Denver Center Theatre Company, includes reflections, best practices and practical takeaways gleaned by several education directors who attended the TEAM Phase 2 assessment training. The Building a National TEAM: Theatre Education Assessment Models project was begun in 2007, and focused on crafting good assessment models. TEAM Phase 2 continued that professional development work by guiding education directors toward developing valid and reliable conclusions and reports from their raw assessment data. Also included in this Centerpiece are this year’s tabulations from the 2009 Education Survey results.

October 2009: Measuring the Essential: Education Survey 2008

This Centerpiece begins with an introduction by Daniel Renner, director of education at Denver Center Theatre Company, who discusses the importance of developing a sound assessment model for theatre education. Renner’s introduction leads into a summary of the results from the 2008 Nation’s Arts Report Card, followed by a series of recommendations for how best to communicate the significance of these results to your school and community leaders. This publication concludes with tabulations from the 2008 TCG Education Survey exhibiting current trends in theatre education.

September 2008: A Dialogue Among Friends: Education Survey 2007

This Centerpiece includes an article from Andrea Allen of Seattle Repertory Theatre, promoting the importance of dialogue between, and the technique of borrowing from, fellow education directors. The publication includes tabulations from the 2007 Education Survey exhibiting current trends in theatre education and encourages everyone to explore the data on their own through utilizing the customized reporting and search tools available on the TCG website.

September 2007: A National Conversation on Assessment

This two-part Centerpiece features an exploration on the theme of assessment and a briefing on TCG's Building a National TEAM: Theatre Education Assessment Models project, written by Robert Southworth, and highlights the results of the 2006 Education Survey.

July 2006: Moving Forward: Education Survey 2005

This two-part Centerpiece introduces the impetus for TCG's new education project and highlights the results of the 2005 Education Survey. Robert A. Southworth, Jr., leader of TCG's Theatre Education Assessment Models (TEAM) Working Group, reviews the latest arts education research and demonstrates that many of the studies identify a need for assessment models, which the TEAM Working Group will endeavor to develop over the next two years.

July 2005: Making the Case for Our Education Programs: Education Survey 2004

The education survey Centerpiece and a searchable database of results were created in an effort to maximize existing field knowledge. Just as education teleconferences and convenings have helped many of you find colleagues dealing with similar issues, dilemmas and needs, this survey becomes an ever more valuable and important document as more and more of you participate.

June 2004: A Season of Changes: Education Survey 2003

Features the results from the 102 theatres that participated in the annual Education Survey. In addition to the survey results, a cross-disciplinary response to the 2003 Crossing Paths conference demonstrates that regardless of discipline, arts educators wrestle with the same assessment and professional development issues.

November 2003: Performing Arts Research Report 2002: Education and its Value in the Community

Survey results from the first five Performing Arts Research Coalition (PARC) pilot communities in Cincinnati, Denver, Pittsburgh, Seattle and the state of Alaska were published earlier this year and measured not only attendance, but also the value placed on the performing arts by both arts attendees and non-attendees. In this Centerpiece, education directors from the five communities weigh in on the results and address the disconnect between high audience value for arts education and the reality of low funding and attendance.

July 2003: Teaching Artists: A Work-in-Progress

Eric Booth asks nineteen colleagues to try to define the attributes that distinguish the teaching artist from other arts-in-education practitioners.

March 2003: A Changing Landscape

The results of the fourth annual education survey, with 107 participating theatres, gives an overview of education programming, budget information and audience demographics. In addition, five theatres share their perspectives on how profound changes in the country's economic and sociopolitical climate have affected their education programming.

November 2002: Building Bridges

With local communities taking a critical look at their public schools, many theatres are being forced to re-evaluate their educational programming and develop new strategies for making the best use of their often limited resources. This Centerpiece offers two perspectives on this complicated issue. The first piece outlines specific steps arts educators can take to better understand the environment and expectations that surround their programming. The second, following the growing trend among theatre educators to provide training directly to school teachers, provides a detailed approach to teacher training that aims to increase their knowledge of the artistic process by sharing techniques and theatrical exercises that can be applied in the classroom.

August 2002: Experiences with Assessment

Three education directors at TCG Member Theatres provide overviews of their current forays into the world of assessment. They explain the challenges faced and the tools used in the development of an assessment model.

March 2002: Making Connections

The results of the third annual education survey, with 103 participating theatres, gives an overview of education and outreach programming, budget information and audience demographics. Three education directors participate in an informal discussion of the survey results and the pressing issues facing theatre educators today.

October 2001: Assessment Trends in Theatre Education

A national leader in the field of assessment provides an overview of assessment for theatre education and suggestions of where assessment trends are headed. While the focus is on classroom assessment and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the Arts, the article offers educational professionals in theatres an understanding of assessment trends and resources for crafting their own assessment tools.

July 2001: Federal Funding Opportunities for Arts Education: Some Success Stories

Four diverse arts organizations—the Cleveland Public Theatre, Mill Street Loft, Deaf West Theatre and the Cleveland Museum of Art—share their success stories in obtaining federal funding for arts education programs. The emphasis is on finding and applying for "non-traditional" sources of arts education funding, including the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Justice.

January/February 2001: Taking Stock

Two education directors respond to the findings of the annual education survey, pondering issues such as the proliferation of education programs across the field, budget sizes and staffing. The tabulated results of the survey are included, encompassing budgets, funding, programming, audience development and audience demographics.

September 2000:

Acknowledging the ubiquity and extensive potential of the Internet, many theatres are still faced with many questions about how best to implement technology in their organizations. Two education directors relate their journeys—and the subsequent successes and concerns—toward the creation of education programming on the Internet.

June 2000: Partnering with Teachers

Teachers have long been some of theatre's strongest advocates and best partners by bringing young people to the theatre. How are organizations using their resources to directly affect teachers? Two organizations discuss their teacher training programs, aimed at forming ongoing partnerships and guiding teachers to a richer and more visceral understanding of theatre.

January 2000: A Look at Where We Are

Five education directors react to the findings of the 1999 Snapshot Survey on Education Programming. They respond to the survey's statistics and speculate on the future of theatre education programs.

September 1999: Questioning Ourselves

With the explosion of new education programs in theatres across the country and the emphasis on quick implementation and results, there is little time left for reflection. To enhance the national conversation about the role of education in theatres, two education directors take the time to reflect on the challenges they face in creating successful education programs. A comprehensive questionnaire is also included, providing an approach for theatres to examine their own goals and programming.

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