Francie Ostrower

Francie Ostrower, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, director of the Portfolio Program in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship and Senior Fellow in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin in 2008, she was Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy. Prior to that, she was a sociology faculty member at Harvard University. Dr. Ostrower received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University, where she also served as Associate Director of the Program on Nonprofit Organizations. She has been a Visiting Professor at IAE de Paris/Sorbonne Graduate Business School and is an Urban Institute Affiliated Scholar.

Dr. Ostrower is currently principal investigator of Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative: Research and Evaluation, a six-year study of audience-building activities commissioned and funded by The Wallace Foundation through a $3.5 million grant. The study seeks to understand how performing arts organizations can attract new audiences while retaining current ones, in a sustainable way, and whether audience building contributes to the organization’s financial health.

Dr. Ostrower is the author of books on Trustees of Culture and Why the Wealthy Give, which received awards from ARNOVA and Independent Sector, and co-author of Race, Ethnicity and Participation in the Arts. Among her articles and monographs are Attitudes and Practices Concerning Effective Philanthropy (recipient of Independent Sector's Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize); Nonprofit Governance in the United States; The Reality Underneath the Buzz of Partnerships; The Diversity of Cultural Participation and a co-authored chapter on governance in The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook. Her research has been supported by numerous grants, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Aspen Institute.

Dr. Ostrower is a board member and past-President of the Association for Research on Voluntary and Nonprofit Action (ARNOVA) and in recent years has served on the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly board, the academic advisory committee of the Stanford Social Innovation Review and the National Endowment for the Arts 2012 SPPA Working Group.

Ostrower headshot
Public Policy
Phone: 512-232-5342