Integrating Design Thinking into Arts Organizations: An Approach to Advancing DEI through Community Engagement Programs

ISSN/ISBN : 1480-8986
Pages : 17-30

Product: Article

$21.00 CA

Albert Martínez-Fernández

Albert Martínez-Fernández is an arts and entertainment business strategist, currently working as the Budget Manager for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In this capacity, he plans and executes global financial planning processes and conducts data-intensive analysis for business optimization. Albert is also an Expert-in-Residence in Design Thinking Innovation for the MPA program at NYU. Previously, he launched a new DEI strategic partnership program with Fortune 500 companies for The Metropolitan Opera and held various business and marketing roles across Europe in high-growth startups and multinational corporations within the travel, financial, and technology sectors. Albert has offered guest lectures at Columbia University, NYU, and CUNY, and his contributions have received recognition from the Association of Arts Administration Educators and the “La Caixa” Foundation. Native to Spain, he is fluent in five languages and graduated in arts administration, business, and marketing from NYU, Ramon Llull University, and Pompeu Fabra University.

This study explores how design thinking can foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in community engagement programs led by non-profit arts organizations. The aim is to identify the most common approaches utilized in designing and executing community engagement programs, and assess their effectiveness in advancing DEI. The findings reveal that the current strategies used present inherent deficiencies and do not effectively drive DEI goals. The study concludes that by integrating human-centered methodologies, design thinking offers the potential to address the shortcomings of existing approaches. As such, this paper introduces a new Community Co-designed Approach that leverages design thinking and co-design methodologies to better understand the unique values and needs of specific communities and more effectively integrate DEI principles into community engagement initiatives in arts organizations. This research has significant practical implications for arts administrators and practitioners looking to implement DEI through community engagement, increase participation, and improve community relationships.

Design thinking; innovation; problem solving; human-centered design; community engagement; non-profit arts organizations