By Sunil Iyengar, NEA Director of Research & Analysis

Networking by flickr user jairoagua

Earlier this year, the ever-prolific Barry Hessenius asked some of us in arts research to take part in a weeklong round of interviews for his blog at WESTAF. Reading that exchange, I was struck by how many piquant observations were left hanging in mid-air, not owing to inarticulateness, but because there’s only so much space to devote to a particular issue or problem. After all, each day of Barry’s blog-a-thon began with a new question.

Despite these strictures, I was impressed that colleagues of such different backgrounds in the arts and in research could reach such similar conclusions, even though we hadn’t consulted each other beforehand. And once more I began to dream of a collaborative research network in the arts. Below are a few models that we might look to.