Research process

It starts with listening. Sure, all consultants say that, but for us it really is fundamental. That’s because we’re not trying to plug an off-the-shelf solution into your institution’s unique circumstances and goals. Our research is custom-designed to meet each client’s particular challenges, from the methodologies we develop to the questions we ask your audiences.

What are we listening for? The answers to four critical questions about your research needs, which we codify in the form of a Project Pyramid™ for each engagement. 


Institutional Objectives
Where is your organization trying to go?
The context in which the research will take place.
Research Objectives
What does the research need to do in order 
to help the institution achieve those goals?
Research Questions
What do you need to know about — or
from — your audiences in order to
achieve those objectives?
Protocol Questions
How will we elicit those answers from
your audiences? How will we ask
the questions in our study?


As the arrows suggest, once we understand the institutional context and your objectives for the research, we can begin to identify the internal questions the research must answer and then translate these into effective external language for the research protocols—questionnaires, interview guides, ethnographic instruments, etc.

Along with the Project Pyramid™, we develop a detailed project plan and timeline to guide our work from kickoff meeting to presentation of findings. As our long-term clients know, we’re not just big-picture thinkers. We also keep the details in view and the lines of communication open.

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March 14, 2014 | Nicole Baltazar

Multiculturalism is key for creating inclusive arts experiences


Last month, Coca-Cola aired its now-famous Super Bowl ad depicting people from various racial, ethnic, and cultural groups singing “America the Beautiful” together in different languages. Among the instant outpouring of polarized reactions to this ad rang much praise for its depiction of a multicultural America. Yet the ad provoked a slew of negative responses as well. Many of the ad’s detractors questioned whether this multicultural America could ever feel as cohesive as an America whose citizens speak a common language, and therefore have taken great strides toward assimilating into a common culture.

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